COMMONS

Clive Betts MP comments on PAC's Better Care Fund report

25 February 2015

Clive Betts comments on the Public Accounts Committee report on the Better Care Fund

Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, has commented on the publication of the Public Accounts Committee report, 'Planning for the Better Care Fund'.

Clive Betts MP said:

“I welcome the PAC’s report which raises serious concerns about the way the Department of Communities and Local Government, Department of Health and NHS England planned for the fund.

“Given the fund is supposed to be about integration and joined-up working, the lack of communication between central government departments is deeply troubling. DCLG appears to have been blithely unaware that the Department of Health was planning to make £1 billion of savings from the fund. The resulting shifting of the goalposts has caused local areas frustration, delay and uncertainty.

“The accounting treatment of the fund is also a matter of concern. During meetings of my Committee, this has emerged as a clear case of Government double counting. Better Care Fund money is included within both the NHS budget and local authorities’ spending power. The Government is spending the same money twice in a desperate effort to mask reductions in local authority spending while seeking to show that it is maintaining NHS funding in line with inflation.”

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