Government concedes Care Act 2014 litigation

Friday 11 September 2015

Back in May 2015, Mr Justice King granted two local authorities permission to apply for a judicial review of the government’s inadequate funding of the Care Act 2014, and permission to the Local Government Association (LGA) to intervene.

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The New Burdens Doctrine requires the Coalition Government to fund the net cost of new burdens on local authorities in order to reduce pressure on the Council Tax.

In this judicial review, the central contention was that the government has under-estimated the net cost of the new National Eligibility Criteria by at least £150M for the two local authorities involved.

The government has now conceded the claim, withdrawn its earlier decisions and agreed to pay the local authorities’ legal costs: it has entered into an order agreeing to work with the local authorities to develop a process properly to assess the resources impact of the Care Act 2014 and to fund independent research into what such impact might be.

There is now a realistic likelihood of local authority adult care having increased budgets for front-line adult care services.

Stephen Knafler QC represents the local authority claimants, instructed by David Hollings of West Berkshire DC legal department. James Goudie QC represents the LGA.

Stephen Knafler QC is a member of Garden Court Chambers' Community Care and Public and Administrative Law Teams.

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