Local councils in England are to be allowed to increase council tax to help raise money for social care, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed today.
These new proposals could see some local areas increasing council tax by up to 6% over the next two years.
Councils already have the power to increase it by up to 2% every year to pay for care. This is called the ‘social care precept’.
Urgent funding boost needed
These new proposals could see small increases in social care funding in local areas.
However, this extra funding would not be enough for most local councils, who are already struggling to meet increasing demand for care and support.
The total amount that could be raised is £900 million – but this doesn’t meet the £1 billion a year gap that’s been identified by social services leaders.
We raised the issue of the social care crisis both before and after the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
Councils in the wealthiest areas will be able to raise more council tax than less wealthy areas.
We’re worried the areas with the greatest demand for social care will be able to raise the least.
We’ll continue to call on the Government to immediately address the long-term sustainability of the social care system.
Government must take responsibility
Michelle Mitchell, our Chief Executive, said:
“We’re pleased to see the Government finally acknowledge pressures on social care funding. Shrinking social care budgets are leaving people with MS without the support they need to live independent and dignified lives.
But this measure is simply not enough to meet the scale of the crisis. We’re also worried that the precept will raise the least amount in the areas with the most need. The level of care that people receive shouldn’t be a gamble based on where they live.
“Ultimately, it’s the Government, not local authorities, that has to take immediate responsibility for the long-term sustainability of the social care system.”