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Private Client Law

03 JUN 2014

Austerity budgeting: when is it lawful?

Karen Ashton

Solicitor

Local authorities across the country are in the throes of this year’s budget round in the face of further reductions to their ‘spending power’. Adult social care makes up a significant proportion of expenditure for authorities with social services responsibilities and so it is hardly surprising that these councils are searching for yet further savings from this particular pot.There appears to be some acknowledgement that, what are often termed ‘statutory services’, must be excluded from the exercise, but the legal constraints on those who have the unenviable task of deciding where the axe will fall are wider-reaching and more complex than this. This article explores the lawfulness of ten common costs-savings measures in this field.

In their joint letter to The Times of 5 December 2013, the Chair of the Local Government Association, the President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the Chair of the Care and Support Alliance described adult social care as ‘seriously underfunded’ and called on the Chancellor to use his Autumn statement to ‘prevent the cracks already evident in our parched adult social care system from becoming still wider’ (ADASS Press Release, 5 December 2013).


The full version of this article appears in issue 1 of 2014 of Elder Law Journal. If you subscribe to the journal please click here to read the full article.


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