Social care crisis forces May to raise council tax
PM relents after blocking plan for elderly help
Francis Elliott, Political Editor | Rachel Sylvester | Alice Thomson
December 12 2016, 12:01am,
Theresa May stopped Philip Hammond from talking about funding social care in the autumn statement
Theresa May will back steep rises to council tax bills this week in an attempt to plug a gaping hole in social care funding.
Warnings of an “absolute crisis” in the industry have prompted the prime minister to drop her opposition to the increases, as the government strives to prove that it is facing up to the ballooning costs of caring for Britain’s ageing population.
Ministers approve 6% hike in council tax bills to help fund social care
Despite the move to tackle the social care funding crisis, a Government source admitted a long-term solution will be needed.
Wednesday 14 December 2016
People aged 65-74 hold more wealth than everyone in Britain under 45
The cost of social care has soared
By Beth Rigby, Senior Political Correspondent
Local authorities will be allowed to raise council tax bills by 6% over the next two years to help raise cash for social care in local communities, Sky News has learnt.
Ministers are expected to announce the measure on Thursday in a bid to plug the funding gap in care services for the elderly and disabled.
Under the plans, local authorities will be able to accelerate council tax increases already pencilled in for this parliament by the former chancellor George Osborne.
Mr Osborne announced in November 2015 that councils would be able to raise council tax by 2% a year between 2016/17 to 2019/2020 to raise almost £2bn in social care. But under the new proposals, councils are expected to be allowed to front-load those planned increases to bring in more money sooner.
London boroughs warn raising council taxes 'can't solve care crisis'
Kate Proctor |
12 hours ago|
London boroughs today warned that increasing council taxes will not address the multi-million-pound shortfall facing adult social care services.
Even if every local authority in the capital added the two per cent adult social care precept on every bill until 2020, there would still be a £675 million funding gap, London Councils said.
The organisation represents the capital’s 32 boroughs and also the City of London.
Its warning comes the day before the Government is expected to announce plans that will allow authorities to increase the care precept.
But a spokesman for London Councils said: “Enabling [authorities] to increase the social care precept would be an inadequate response that would raise less in the areas that need it most.”
London Councils said that even in the “best case scenario” of every single eligible taxpayer meeting the two per cent rate, funding still falls short.
The proposals could allow authorities to increase council tax by up to seven per cent.
However, Ray Puddifoot, London Councils executive member for adult social care, said today that a one-off cash injection from central government was the preferred solution to the crisis.
Mr Puddifoot, who is leader of Tory-run Hillingdon council, said: “You can’t raise enough money across London [from the precept]. It needs an injection to catch up with the rising population.”
He called on the Government to recognise that the base level of funding was “insufficient”.
The precept, introduced by former chancellor George Osborne, has so far raised £47 million across the capital for the year 2016/17. The amount varies between boroughs. Westminster has raised £964,000 compared with £2.5 million for Barnet.
Your super-sized council tax bill: Double-digit increases planned to fund growing social-care crisis
Surrey County Council is holding a referendum on 16 per cent council tax rise
If it votes to ignore 5 per cent cap, it could pave the way for others nationwide
Comes after tax increase cap rose, if councils ring-fence money for social care
Increases will increase pressure on government to reduce foreign aid spending
By John Stevens Whitehall Editor For The Daily Mail
Published: 23:40, 29 December 2016 | Updated: 08:49, 30 December 2016
Thousands of families face eye-watering council tax rises of up to 16 per cent as town halls plot super-sized hikes.
In an unprecedented move to tackle the spiralling social care crisis, councils are preparing to hold referendums on whether they can ignore a 5 per cent cap on annual increases.
Chancellor Philip Hammond's own local authority, Surrey County Council, is considering a 16 per cent rise. If voters approve the increase, which would add £200 to average annual bills, officials believe a string of other councils will try to follow suit.
Thousands of families face eye-watering council tax rises of up to 16 per cent as town halls plot super-sized hikes amid a social care crisis
Lancashire County Council is also thought to be considering a vote.
The startling revelations will fuel calls for the Government to ditch its commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on foreign aid. Backbench MPs say it is a scandal that £12billion a year is spent on overseas development while the UK's elderly care is in crisis.
A fortnight ago, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced he would raise the ceiling on council tax increases, leaving households facing huge bills to help fund social care. Under the new rules, councils can increase charges for next year by 5 per cent – with 3 per cent ring-fenced for adult social care – rather than the 4 per cent that had been planned.
Jeremy Hunt's council to hold referendum on 15% council tax rise to fund social care
The Health Secretary's own council is to ask the public if they will pay more to fund social care because the Government won't.
Thursday 19 January 2017
By Zoe Catchpole, Political Reporter
Surrey is to hold a referendum on increasing council tax by a massive 15% to pay for the growing crisis in social care.
It is expected that the decision could trigger other cash-strapped councils to follow suit in order to meet the growing cost of caring for people in their own homes after Theresa May refused to increase social care funding.
A 15% increase by the Tory-controlled authority would add around £200 to the average bill.
It is particularly embarrassing for the Government because Surrey contains the constituency of the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is under fire because of the current NHS crisis gripping the country.
As well as Mr Hunt, the county covers the constituencies of 11 Tory MPs including the Chancellor, Philip Hammond; the former Justice Secretary, Michael Gove and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.
They are at least proposing a referendum our own grubby little council is talking about a consultation on an extra 3% on top of the 1.99%.However this consultation has not been widely advertised seems to be only by using a strange web site cutting out those with no internet access.It will be finished by the 29th of this month.I doubt many will even know it has happened.If they want to raise another 3% they should at least send a letter or voting form to every house.
Surrey Council scraps plans for 15 per cent tax hike
Tuesday 7 February 2017 15:01 GMT
The Evening Standard
New proposal: Council leader David Hodge scaled back plans for a tax rise
A Conservative-run local council has scrapped a proposed 15 per cent tax rise after a backlash.
Surrey Council's leadership had planned the huge increase, which would have required approval in a local referendum, to help cover the impact of funding cuts and the rising cost of social care.
But council leader David Hodge has scaled back the plans and instead sought a rise of just under the threshold for a public vote set by ministers in Whitehall.
Council tax in Surrey will instead rise by 4.99 per cent.
The proposed rise was backed by Surrey's cabinet and risked becoming an embarrassment to the Tory hierarchy because ministers including Chancellor Philip Hammond and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt have constituencies in the county.
But as the proposed rise was due to be put to the full council on Tuesday, Mr Hodge announced that he would abandon plans to seek the 15 per cent increase.
Surrey County Council announces plans for huge council tax hike
Fresh bid launched for huge multi-faith cemetery amid row
New breed among highlights of cat exhibition in Surrey
Initial proposals would have added almost £200 to the bills of average Band D taxpayers.
When he set out the plans in January, Mr Hodge said: "Government has cut our annual grant by £170 million since 2010 - leaving a huge gap in our budget.
"Demand for adult social care, learning disabilities and children's services is increasing every year.
"So I regret, despite us finding £450 million worth of savings from our annual budget, we have no choice but to propose this increase in council tax."
Council tax car park charges and business rates to pay for Havering Council’s funding gap
16:51 08 February 2017
Ann-Marie Abbasah (Romford Recorder)
Havering Council has confirmed it will raise council tax, car park charges and a number of other rates in order to bridge a funding gap from central government.
At a budget briefing held yesterday, council leader Roger Ramsey said the measures were the only way to accommodate the huge loss.
The council currently receives £60million from the government – one third of its budget. But by 2020 this will reduce to just over £1m.
Cllr Ramsey said: “We are planning a council tax increase this year of 3.5 per cent bottom line.”
This means council tax for a Band D property will be around £1.04 a week more.
“We are not making any change to the council tax support scheme,” he added.
“People who have had reductions will continue as is.”
No major cuts in services are projected.
But the council is proposing to increase charges for car parking outside Romford to £1.50 for one to two hours, and raise green waste annual charges from £35 to £45.
Enforcement of moving traffic offences will also be increased.
In addition, the council will rely on the revenue generated from its leisure facilities, a new centre in Romford in January 2018, and business rates, which are going up.
“We are trying to raise money so that we can avoid cutting support to the vulnerable,” he continued.
Cross-party support was gained last month for the council to request Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to refund the Olympic Games precept.
But he flatly refused, calling the motion “desperate nonsense”.
“We are disappointed,” Cllr Ramsey said.
“We have always felt a bit aggrieved about the Olympic levy.
“Our residents have contributed £16m to the Olympics unlike other areas who have contributed nothing – like Waltham Abbey [retains a canoe facility] and Benfleet [Olympic mountain bike course].”
Income will also be generated through a solar park at Gerpins Lane and the council’s property company Mercury Land Holdings.
“At the moment we have 41 apartments in North Street, Hornchurch and have also acquired about 40 apartments at the old hospital site which should be finished in March.”
Council tax to rise while services cut, says LGA
1 hour ago
Council leaders are warning of deep cuts to services despite nearly every local authority in England planning to raise council tax in 2017.
Increases of up to 4.99% are expected across the country, but libraries, bin collections and other services will still face funding gaps.
The Local Government Association says the cost of care for increasing numbers of elderly people is forcing up bills.
The government insists it is giving more money to councils.
The Department for Communities and Local Government said local authorities had been given a "historic" four-year settlement, giving them the certainty they needed to plan ahead, with almost £200bn available "to provide the services that local people want".
All councils in England can raise council tax by 1.99% in April without having a local referendum.
The 151 social care authorities can increase bills by an extra 3% as long as that money goes on social care.
The Local Government Association (LGA) says 147 of these have already agreed or are planning to raise the extra money. And three-quarters are set to introduce the maximum hike.
Some residents will see even higher rises, as council tax regulations say the cap is based on the average council tax across the area, rather than a maximum for each household.
However, the LGA says further cuts will still be needed as councils are being pushed "perilously close to the financial edge".
Warwickshire County Council leader Izzi Seccombe told the BBC: "To continue it is really looking like we're cutting into the bones of services that matter to people.
"It's not just social care. Things like roads, highways, bus services which are subsidised, libraries, access to leisure centres, waste services, children's services as well."
Sorry if I'm going over old hat but will the increases be ring fenced so they go directly to social care and not to be shoved in the pockets of senior managers at the town hall?
I doubt we will be told!