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The Welsh Government funding will help meet the extra costs associated with the introduction of the national living wage.

First published:
5 January 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The new investment will form part of a three-way agreement to be established between the Welsh Government, local government and social care employers to work together to create a more stable social care workforce. 

The Welsh Government funding will help meet the extra costs associated with the introduction of the national living wage. It is in addition to the extra £25m for social care, which was announced in the draft 2017-18 Budget in October. 

Further funding to support social care in 2017-18 will be available as the maximum weekly charge for domiciliary care rises from £60 to £70.

Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, said: 

“In Wales, we have prioritised social care as a sector of national strategic importance.

“Tens of thousands of people rely on these vital services every day. We know that the sector is crucial to the effective running of the wider healthcare system, which is why we are supporting the integration of health and social care through our £60m Intermediate Care Fund. 

“We have engaged with our social care partners to understand the issues facing the sector – the financial impact of implementing the UK Government’s national living wage has emerged as a primary concern.

“I am today confirming the Welsh Government will provide a further £10m a year to help manage the impact of the national living wage. This will also support work to create a fully registered workforce by 2022.  

“This investment underpins a joint commitment between partners – we will provide funding, local authorities will invest in service provision and employers will create a more valued workforce, reducing the high turnover in staff currently experienced.”

The Minister also announced that the maximum amount people can be charged for homecare and other non-residential care will increase from £60 a week to £70 from April 2017. 

The uplift will complement the extra £10m-a-year investment, ensuring care across Wales continues to be of good quality. The rise reflects the need to invest in domiciliary care and takes account of inflation over the two-year period that the current £60 maximum charge has been in place. 

It will raise more than £4m a year in additional income for local authorities to use to tackle pressures in the social care sector, including financial pressures caused by the introduction of the national living wage. 

The Minister added: 

“Alongside our recurrent £10m investment, I have also been considering the maximum charge for domiciliary care. I believe the time is now right to uplift it. 

“Taken together, these announcements will mean millions of pounds more are invested in social care every year. This will ensure we all benefit from a strong, sustainable sector that is fit for the future.”

Councillor Huw David, WLGA Spokesperson on Social Care and Health, said:

“We warmly welcome the additional £10m to assist with funding the implementation of the national living wage for care workers. Equally the decision to raise the maximum charge for domiciliary care from £60 to £70 is a beneficial step in the right direction and it is the view of the WLGA that it will need to increase further in future years to help cover some of the extra costs.

“Over the next period WLGA look forward to working with the Minister on creating a sustainable financial framework for local government that addresses the massive current social care challenges. The respective policy positions in England and Wales on this are very different. Welsh Government recognise the vital importance of preventative services which this statement confirms.”