Friday, 13 January 2017

Council tax to increase for social care?

Have you had your say on the South Glos budget yet?

An extra question has now been added to the consultation. Last year South Glos took up the option to charge an extra 2% of council tax as an "adult social care precept" to go towards the spiralling costs of providing care to the vulnerable. It had been expected that this would continue at 2% for the following years but in December the Government announced a proposal that councils could introduce the rise sooner  – so they could increase council tax by up to 3% in 2017/18 or 2018/19 but still could not exceed 6% in total over the three year period 2017-2020. South Glos want to know your views on this. You can have your say online until 23rd January.

It is hard to see how South Glos can plug the funding gap without taking up this proposal but the Liberal Democrats nationally do not think this is the answer to the crisis in social care. Using council tax to raise the money will disproportionately burden the less well off in our communities and poorer parts of the country will be less able to raise money in this way than wealthier ones. Led by our health spokesperson and former Health Minister Norman Lamb we are pushing for a cross-party agreement on funding for health and social care. Is it time to put a penny on income tax to secure the future of the NHS and social care?

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