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10 September 2021

Publish date: 10/09/2021

In a week where the number of judicial review applications received in the first half of 2021 has decreased by 16%, (a trending trajectory following the same percentage decrease in 2020 for the same period), the main news item dominating the press is of course the rise in National Insurance contributions.

Last week The House of Commons voted by 319 to 248 in favour of a 1.25 percentage point rise in national insurance contributions from next April to address the NHS backlog and support social care funding. This will see an employee on £20,000 pay an additional £130 per year. The increase is intended to enable a cap on the costs of care at £86,000, although it's worth noting that figure doesn't include accommodation or food. In Wales, it is already the position that no one who is eligible for care at home is expected to pay more than £100 per week. According to a recent report by think tank 'Resolution', it estimates that by next year, 40% of all public funding will be allocated to health and social care. In England, nearly 300,000 adults are reported to be on a social care waiting list according to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, whilst a significant shortage of care workers are resulting in people being offered residential care reportedly against their wishes due to in-home provision being unavailable. The demands and changes are likely to require an upsurge in adult social care lawyers, an already remarkably rare breed indeed.

In other news, we continue to forge ahead with our many workstreams now that the summer break is well and truly over. We are busy moving into the implementation stage of our new website, planning ahead for next year's graduate recruitment and work experience scheme, focusing on our virtual meeting provision campaign and of course taking bookings for our Governance Conference 2021. So many of you have commented that you are very much looking forward to seeing old friends in person once more, but if you have any concerns about attending due to the pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact us so we can explain the measures in place for that event.

Finally, today is a rather significant day for the LLG team as we say goodbye to team member Julia Cunningham, whom many of you would have had cause to contact over the years. Julia has provided a calm, steadfast and diligent energy to the team; enthused with positivity and a cheerfulness much needed during the pandemic. This is her last bulletin compilation. We wish her every happiness for the future, with grateful thanks for her significant contribution to the company.

Best wishes

Helen McGrath

Head of Public Affairs