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Monday, March 6, 2017


Overwhelming public support for Budget action on £2.6 billion care shortfall and backing for a new National Care Service, as union tells PM to "buck stops in Downing Street "

New polling commissioned by GMB, the union for care workers, today reveals widespread public support for national general taxation to be used to fund the shortfall in social care budgets.

In December 2016, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid revealed councils would be allowed to raise an extra 3% from their local population this year and 3% next year to fund social care, bringing forward planned increases of 2% a year [1].

The newly released polling, commissioned by GMB and conducted by Survation reveals that 6 in 10 (61%) believe social care funding should be increased through taxes gathered nationally, compared to just one in five (20%) adults in the UK who believe social care funding should be funded by increasing local council taxes. Only 8% believe social care funding should not increase.

The polling of UK adults also reveals:

  • Nine in ten (90%) said it was important the Government used this week's Budget to commit to providing the funds to address a predicted £2.6 billion shortfall in adult social care funding, with just 3.6% disagreeing
  • Eight in ten (81%) believe cuts to adult social care have contributed to additional pressure on the NHS with just 7.4% disagreeing
  • Seven in ten (70%) back a National Care Service aiming to have consistent service across the country, with just 17.9% preferring funding through local councils
  • Three quarters (76%) believe care workers - who earn £8.50 an hour on average - are paid too little and just 3.9% believe they are paid too much

In the wake of warnings from the Local Government Association (LGA) last month that councils face a £2.6 billion shortfall in social care funding, GMB called on the Prime Minister to "get a grip" on the crisis engulfing the sector.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary said:

"There is widespread public support for adult social care to be properly funded by national general taxation. The public recognise the scale of the crisis facing social care and that the buck stops at Downing Street.

“The Prime Minister's attempt to solve this problem through local council tax increases is a sticking plaster and we support councils that are doing what they can - but it is not a sustainable solution.

"There is overwhelming public support for immediate Government action in this week's Budget to provide funds to plug the eye-watering £2.6 billion black hole in adult social care funding.

“It's quite clear cuts to care funding have mounted pressure on our NHS - the public agrees, taking the view that funding should be increased nationally and backing a National Care Service to ensure consistency in service.

"Our care workers do an incredible job, earning just £8.50 an hour on average. Far from being overpaid, the public is quite clear that these dedicated frontline public servants are paid too little. They need the necessary resources, tools, and support to provide the dignity their patients deserve and the public expect."


GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at


[1] Provisional local government finance settlement 2017 to 2018: statement, December 2016

[2] Survation surveyed 1,019 people online on 2-3 March 2017. Data were weighted to the profile of all UK adults aged 18+. Survation are a member of the British Polling Council and abide by their rules (see attached)

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