Councils are being given the power to raise tax for social care by six per cent over the next two years, as part of £900m of extra money, but critics call it a ‘sticking plaster’ for the care sector’s ills.
Sajid Javid, minister for Department for Communities and Local Government said:
‘Local authorities across England will be able to add a three percent levy to council tax bills in 2017/18 and an extra three per cent in 2018/19.’
Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid announced the move in a statement to the House of Commons about the Local Government Finance Settlement. Currently, the social care precept allows councils to raise as much as two percent a year through council tax for adult social care.
The minister told MPs an additional £652m could be raised from the social care precept (£208m in 2017/18 and £444m in 2018/19).
Mr Javid also announced that over the next two years:
“New money of £240m which otherwise would have gone into the ‘new homes bonus’ budget will be transferred to adult social care budgets.”
Against a backdrop of jeers in the House of Commons, the Minister said of the £652m from the social care precept and £240m from the new homes bonus: “This is £900m additional money over the next two years, which would not have happened had these changes not been announced.”
The minister also said:
“The overall increase in the social care precept over the next three years will remain at six per cent”.
97 per cent of councils have accepted the settlement including South and West Yorkshire and 10 councils have not.