Cut foreign aid to fund social care say charity

FULL STEAM AHEAD Detail from Chris Burke's timeline for the station mural

PEMBURY based charity Pepenbury have welcomed the Kent County Council Leader’s call to cut Foreign Aid programmes to alleviate the escalating costs of social care.

Cllr Paul Carter bemoaned the fact that local government budgets have ‘contracted by 36 per cent’ while foreign aid has been protected at 0.7 per cent of GDP. In 2015, this was £12.2billion.

He argued that central Government’s priorities ‘need recalibrating’ adding: “I think one of the primary duties of central government is to make sure the elderly, sick and vulnerable are supported adequately.”

Pepenbury, which supports vulnerable adults in West Kent, welcomed the call to redirect the funds in a press release.

Karl Pay, Head of Operations at the charity said: “The current funding allocation does not always adequately meet the changing needs of people. We as a care organisation could do so much more to provide additional care when people become unwell if the funding was more flexible and based around people’s changing needs.

“Ultimately this would be much more cost effective than an admission to an NHS hospital which could potentially lead to bed blocking, which we know is a real issue for hospitals.”

Underfunding of social care has been a sticking point for Theresa May’s government as the NHS and local government leaders have pleaded for more cash.

In December the government announced that local authorities would be able to increase council tax by up to 3 per cent to raise funds for social care. The move was criticised as it would mean the quality of social care would vary depending on the wealth of the area.

Pepenbury is the trading name for Larkfield With Hill Park Autistic Trust Limited – a registered charitable company.

They help over 250 people, spending more than £7million a year to provide residential facilities with full time care, supported living, a day services centre and a community team that help support people living on their own in the community.

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