Council overspend on social care doubles as savings targets missed

Councils significantly overspent their adult social care budgets last year after some savings targets proved “impossible” to deliver, directors have warned.

The annual budget survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) found councils spent £14.2bn on adult’s services in 2016-17, £366m more than was planned. This was more than double the £168m overspend reported in 2015-16.

Councils plugged the overspends last year by transferring funds from their reserves or other departments. But the association warned that directors were finding it “increasingly difficult” to implement planned cuts in practice, with less than a third (31%) confident of delivering savings for this year.

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