Budget 2018: Mears' Response

Alan Long

Executive of Mears Group, Alan Long:

Today's budget will be seen by many in the care sector as a sticking plaster until the social care green paper produces plans for a sustainable model of social care funding.

 It has now been seven years since the Dilnot Commission and every day home care workers deliver care to those who need it despite any plans for a real system to deliver care as our population grows older. While any increase in funding is welcome, social care continues to be seemingly treated as somehow of lower worth than the NHS despite the obvious dependency on each other. 

On housing the government has started to think radically to encourage developers and local authorities to build with an end to the borrowing cap and changes to planning permission. Whilst this will affect the housing stock in a few years time, the challenges of homelessness are growing ever more desperate. As the largest supplier of temporary accommodation in the country Mears urgently asks the government to review this tenure now. Without stock and proper funding, councils and providers like Mears will continue to think of new and innovative solutions but this is done without a national debate about how we keep people in safe and decent accommodation tonight.

Finally, Mears welcomes the ending of the PFI model of funding. The collapse of Carillion has shown that the public and private sectors need to act in a genuinely sustainable and transparent way when delivering assets to the public realm. This transparency should be enshrined in any future financial model.

Published: October 31st 2018