Sleep in crisis will not be resolved by HMRC’s bullish tactics-VODG comments : Care Industry News


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The tactics being taken by Government’s revenue agency HMRC is taking a spectacular new turn in dealing with the sleep in crisis says VODG the group that represents disability charities.

Government’s recent announcement of a new Social Care Compliance Scheme raised more questions than answers. The lack of clarity has prompted VODG and other agencies to work together to compile a consolidated list of questions and concerns which have been shared with HMRC and other Government officials in writing.

This scheme and the lack of clarity on key issues has strengthened employers concerns that Government has failed to step in and fund the long-running sleepin crisis.

Now in the latest turn of events the leaders of charities and their trustees are receiving ultimatum letters from HMRC. There are variations to the letters but all introduce the Social Care Compliance Scheme and “invite” the organisation to join. Some demand a telephone call with the recipient on a fixed date and time. So far all of the letters received give just 30 days to decide whether to take part in the scheme.

VODG chair Steve Scown said:

“There are too many unresolved questions for providers to make an informed decision as to whether to join Government’s compliance scheme. In the absence of answers, and funding to cover the back pay bill, HMRC’s approach and the timeframe they are imposing is unhelpful to a sector that is at full stretch financially.”

While the chief executive of a disability charity, who wished to remain anonymous, said:

“This appears to be a concerted and planned campaign by government to undermine the sector when a constructive not punitive approach is needed. At a time when we need more funding for social care, the sector is instead being hammered by the HRMC intent on taking away resources from the sector. As a charity working with thousands of people we are deeply concerned about the impact to services such as care and support for elderly relatives, families already struggling with disabled children and young disabled adults who may not only lose their services but the charities who have supported them over many years. The public should know that the very services who support them are being pulled apart. I am concerned and dismayed that our sector is being treated in this way.”

VODG is working with other sector bodies including Association for Real Change, Care England and Learning Disability Voices to demand that Government funds the mistaken back pay.

VODG chief executive Rhidian Hughes said:

“The unspoken cost pressures on social care employers continue to mount as Government drags on the sleep in crisis. The Treasury must find the money to remedy this situation to enable local authorities to contract with providers at a level that covers the full cost of legal requirements. The long-term chronic under-funding of social care must be reversed and we demand the Chancellor takes action in the Autumn Statement.”

 

Source : Sleep in crisis will not be resolved by HMRC’s bullish tactics-VODG comments : Care Industry News

One thought on “Sleep in crisis will not be resolved by HMRC’s bullish tactics-VODG comments : Care Industry News

  1. e I agree that all care workers should be in receipt of at least the National Living Wage, if not the Living Wage, how can the current crisis be solely born by the Care Provider Agencies.

    Most of these agencies are commissioned by Local Authorities and the hourly rates have to be agreed by each local authority commissioning the services of each care provider. So the discrepancies re the sleep-in rates to the national living wage and before 2017 the National Minimum Wage where known by each local authority and more than likely the Government. To now put the onus to settle the discrepancies for the current year and the demand by HMRC to backdate this for 6 years on the service provider is completely wrong. If this is not satisfactorily sorted out by the Government and Local Authorities this could seriously decimate the whole care provider system as many providers will be unable to afford to pay such large amount and twill therefore be bankrupted.

    This does not only affect care providers, but could also affect a large number of persons who have their provision provided by themselves employing their own PAs (Personal Care Assistants) and many of the people requiring such care will obtain the required funding through Direct Payments from their respective local authorities. The people who fund their care in this way are known as Individual Employers and as such are subjected to the rules and regulations as all other employers have to, even though they may only be employing 1 or 2 PAs. Without the respective local authorities increasing their Direct Payments to enable the shortfall in the paying of the hourly rate to be to be paid, these Individual Employers could also be made bankrupt.

    This is a very serious crisis to the care provider market not only within the home care sector, but could also apply to supported living and even residential and nursing homes and any other care settings and if not sorted by Government and Local Authorities would effectively cause a total collapse of the care sector.

    Even just settling the current year would be difficult for all service providers and Individual Employers, but to suffer backdating for 6 years is never going to be realistic. The Government and then the local authorities have to see sense and provide the increased funding to all concerned, but there is only a stated sum of money and to do this will then create a situation where no one is in a position to pay to provide care, even where sleep-ins are not within the care packages.

    Also even without the current sleep-in payment crisis the care industry is on the verge of collapse, so this sleep-in situation will ensure its total collapse.

    The moneys need to be found and paid over expeditiously to safeguard the total care industry.

    Like

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