Difficult decisions to focus spending

13 December 2011

A set of difficult measures looking to ensure limited resources are targeted to those most in need are included in Northamptonshire County Council’s budget proposals.

While the proposals include the huge investment of £27.5m into care services to cope with increased demographic demand there are several changes proposed to the way money is allocated to make sure it is targeted at those most in need.

The proposals include a review of the way resources are allocated, reviewing the fees paid to contracted services and an increase in charges to adult social care customers to bring them in line with increases in national benefits.

Such proposals produce savings to the overall budget helping to mean the extra investment is better targeted.

Cabinet member for health and adult social services Cllr Robin Brown said: “Clearly, we are facing our greatest financial challenges ever so it means that while on the one hand we are investing heavily into this core area to meet the demands of our ever growing population, on the other hand this simply can’t be a blank cheque. We need to off-set this with looking at our other areas of spending.

“To this end we are putting forward proposals to re-examine the way we fund care and ensure a fair and equitable way forward for everyone. Included in this is a proposed increase in the amount we charge for adult social care services which will bring them in line with the increase in the national benefits people receive to pay for such services. We are also looking at a complete change in the way we allocate our limited resources to make sure we are targeting the right amount to those most in need.

“This is about protecting the most vital services for the most vulnerable. We of course understand that some of these proposals will be unsettling for people and therefore it is vital that we consult fully to understand, if these are approved, what their potential impact would be and how we can mitigate that.”

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