Put up tax to pay for social care, say councils

5 Jul 18

Nine in 10 councils think increased tax is crucial to stabilising the adult social care sector, council leaders have said.

A survey conducted by the Local Government Association also found that 96% of councils believe there is a major national funding problem in adult social care.

The survey, based on responses from 79 councils with adult social care responsibilities, revealed that 89% supported increased taxation to tackle the perceived funding shortfall in adult social care.

Since 2015, England’s 152 social care authorities have been allowed to increase council tax to pay for adult social care, but 70% of respondents said that raising council tax should not be part of the solution.

Izzi Seccombe, chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said there was an emerging consensus for greater funding for adult social care.

She added: “All options should be on the table to solve the funding crisis in adult social care and enable council to meet growing demand with high quality and safe services that help people live their lives.”

The LGA is preparing its own green paper on adult social care to try and engage the public and politicians in the debate.

The government has delayed publication of the long-awaited green paper on social care until the autumn.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Health and social care are two sides of the same coin and any reforms must be aligned – that’s why our forthcoming Green Paper will be published in the autumn with the NHS plan.”

Separately, council leaders called for social rented homes to stay included in the definition of affordable housing.

Proposed amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework have omitted any reference to social rent homes despite all time lows in affordable house building, the LGA said.

Judith Blake, LGA housing spokesperson, said: “It is essential that homes of all types and tenure are available so that local communities can deliver a balance of housing to meet a mix of needs.”

An MHCLG spokesman said: “We have ambitious plans to deliver the affordable housing this country needs.

“At least 12,500 social rent homes will be built in high-cost areas as part of a £1.67bn funding boost and we are providing £9bn overall to deliver more affordable homes.”

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