CSR: Extra £2bn announced for social care

George Osborne has announced an extra £2bn of funding for social care, as part of his Comprehensive Spending Review.

The Chancellor told Parliament that local authority grant funding for social care would rise by £1bn by 2014 and the NHS would also be given an additional £1bn to work jointly with councils to prevent elderly people ‘falling through the crack between the two systems’.

He also announced an increase in the state retirement age, which for men and women will reach 66 by 2020 in order to save more than £5bn a year.

In order to achieve this, the retirement age will start gradually increasing from 2018 onwards.

Mr Osborne also confirmed that the universal benefits for pensioners, including free eye tests and bus passes will remain.

He said the current welfare system is ‘failing many of our fellow citizens’ and that benefit bills had risen by 45% under the previous government.

He promised to save the country £7bn a year through changed to the welfare benefits system.

The Chancellor added Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will shortly be setting out proposals to replace all working age benefits and tax credits with a single universal credit system, which will be introduced over the next two Parliaments.

Child tax credit will rise by a further £30 in 2011-12 and £50 in 2012-13 and there will also be a new cap on benefits.

‘No family that doesn’t work will receive more in benefits than the average family that does go out to work,’ said Mr Osborne.

But he said that people claiming disability living allowance, working tax credit or the war widows pension will be excluded from this cap.