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BASW response to 2016 Budget: Cuts will pile more pressure on social workers and service users

BASW Chief Executive Bridget Robb said: “The severity of cuts already being implemented from April 2016, most of which have not yet been made public, is requiring wholesale rearrangement of services. Further cuts will make many areas of public service unsustainable and will pile more pressure on the social work profession and the people it serves. It is welcome that the Chancellor has committed £115 million to address homelessness but we also need to examine why rough sleeping has reportedly doubled in England since 2010.

“The budget pays scant attention to the issue of social care funding. The use of the 2% social care precept to plug holes in council funding will mainly be used to pay for the new national living wage, so while this is very important for those receiving higher wages, it does not provide more money for services. There is also a real issue of fairness between local authorities as poorer or more densely populated areas are likely to have a greater scale of need and demand for services.

“In addition, it is hard to see how reducing the number of people who can claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will improve the lives of disabled people. PIP is a necessity, not a luxury and people should not be made to prove ‘how disabled’ they are in order to access basic support to live their lives.”