GMB, the union for care home staff, is calling on all 152 councils in England responsible for social care to use to the full their new powers to raise an additional £1,804m per annum on the council tax by 2019/20 to have for residential care. In addition to this an extra £1.5bn will be made available through the Better Care Fund for social care by 2019/20.
In the Spending Review authorities with social care responsibilities were given the flexibility to raise council tax in their area by up to 2% above the referendum threshold for each year between 2016-17 and 2019-20, to fund adult social care services. In addition the Government announced £1,500 million additional funding for local authorities to spend on adult social care by 2019-20, to be included in an improved Better Care Fund. See notes to editors for details of both announcements.
The aggregated totals for all councils in each region in England are set out in the table below. The table includes details of how the £1,500m additional Better Care Funds for the region is allocated to councils by region and the final column sets out the total new money for councils by region by 2019/20. The figures for all 152 councils in England are set out as a pdf at the foot of this release on GMB website www.gmb.org.uk . Also set out there as pdfs are the regional press releases on this issue.
Using the 2% powers each year Kent County Council can raise an additional £51.1m per annum by 2019/20, Essex can raise an additional £50.7 m per year, Birmingham can raise an additional £24.6m per year and Lancashire can raise an additional £35.9m per year by 2019/20.
For Kent there is an additional £33.7m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £84.8m new money for social care for 2019/20. For Essex there is an additional £30.7m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £81.4m new money for social care for 2019/20. For Birmingham there is an additional £52.4m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £77m new money for social care for 2019/20. For Lancashire there is an additional £40m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £75.9m new money for social care for 2019/20. The top 20 councils by possible new money is set out in notes to editors 4 below.
|Potential additional Council Tax revenue from Adult Social Care flexibility (£ millions)||Proposed Improved Better Care Fund (£ millions)||Total (£ millions)|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||162.2||173.8||335.9|
|East of England||211.1||124.0||335.1|
Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer for social care, said, “GMB is calling on all councils in England responsible for social care to use to the full their new powers to raise an additional £1,804m per annum on the council tax by 2019/20 to raise desperately needed funds for residential care.
GMB has published this list of how much cash councils can raise to ensure that they immediately start to raise every pound they can under these new powers. GMB is also spelling out how much each council has been allocated from the Better Care Fund total of £1,500m by 2019/20.
If social care is going to be adequately funded in future, then increasing the tax base is an inevitable and important step along that road.
Allowing local authorities to raise council tax by 2% each year is only the start. This is because there are massive disparities in how much extra cash for care different councils will be able to generate. Some councils will be able to pay fair fees to providers, whilst others won’t come close to bridging the funding gap. Where there is a funding shortfall the government must step and fill it.
We expect councils to spend every penny of this possible new money of £3,304m for England on providing the care that our elderly and vulnerable deserve.”