A rise in council tax will not be enough to cover the cost of elderly and disabled care because of higher staff costs, the body that represents local government has warned.
The Local Government Association said nine out of 10 councils were considering, or had already approved, plans to raise an extra £372m in 2016/17 by increasing council tax by 2 per cent to pay for social care.
The right to impose higher council tax, provided the sums generated are used for elderly and disabled care, was given to councils in last year’s Spending Review, and all but nine of Britain’s 152 local authorities intend to use it.
In response to the Local Government Association’s warnings about council tax rises not raising enough money to alleviate the growing pressure on adult social services, Ray James, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said:
“In the Spending Review, the Chancellor recognised the untenable position of adult social care budgets that have faced £4.6 billion of cuts in the last five years – but the additional funding coming forward will not only be too little, it will arrive too late.
“Councils are working hard to protect the quantity and quality of services for older and disabled people, but directors of adult social services are clear: many services are at great risk over the next two years due to increasing demand, the welcome announcement of the National Living Wage and the need to find further savings.
“While by no means a complete solution, bringing forward the new funding currently planned for the end of this parliament would go some way to alleviating this immediate pressure.”
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