Council proposes largest ever increase in care fees
20 January 2023
Care fees in Norfolk are set to rise to their highest ever level, as Norfolk County Council proposes a £30m uplift in the rates it pays to care companies for adult social care.
The increase, which would come into effect in April 2023, would be the highest ever annual increase in fees in order to support the care sector to cope with rising costs, caused by inflationary pressures.
It follows an extra in-year fee increase totalling £2.7m and means the Council will have increased fees by £50m in just two years.
The proposal will be discussed by Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet when it meets on Monday, 30 January.
Cabinet is recommended to back the increase and to continue to lobby the Government for further long term sustainable funding for care.
The additional investment would mean the Council’s spend reaching £374m for purchasing external adult social care services in 2023/24 and comes at a challenging time for council finances.
Cllr Bill Borrett, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Norfolk County Council, said: “We are doing all we can as a council to support care companies, and their fantastic staff, across the sector at a time when the market continues to face very significant challenges.
“That’s why we are proposing our biggest ever increase in fees for the second successive year and why we continue to lobby government for long term sustainable funding to support Adult Social Care. Even though we are doing everything we can as a local authority, we still need a multi-year settlement for the sector that addresses the true cost of social care.”
The £30m investment represents a 9% uplift in fees. It would apply to fees paid by Norfolk County Council for care service commissioned in Norfolk. The £30m investment is only likely to meet the additional costs the sector is facing in 2023/24.
Further investment will be needed to ensure that the council is meeting the cost of care required as part of social care reform, which is now scheduled for October 2025. As part of those reforms, people who pay for their own care will be able to pay the same rates as local authorities. This will mean any cross subsidy will end and councils will need to increase their fees to meet the full cost.