Increase in council tax will not affect the social care crisis, survey suggests

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6th February 2017 13:08 - Local Government

Increase in council tax will not affect the social care crisis, survey suggests: According to a recent local government survey by ITV News, more than 90 per cent of local councils in England have said that being granted permission to increase council tax has made little or no difference to their ability to provide adequate social care.

Recently the UK government said that it was planning to increase the social care precept from 2 per cent to 3 per cent; however, as the crisis in home care is worsening, many councils said that it is no more than a “sticking plaster”.

The survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) on behalf of ITV News, questioned all of the 152 councils in England to reach its findings. Each council was asked if they believed that permission to increase council tax would have a positive effect on social care in their areas. Of the 152 councils, just 112 answered. More than 25 per cent of directors of adult social services revealed that it would make no difference and a further two in three said that it would make little difference.

Just three local councils said that they believed an increase would make a notable difference to their ability to care for residents who need more help than others. Of the councils, not one said that they felt increasing tax would resolve the crisis.

The survey was published shortly after Surrey County Council said that it was left with no choice but to increase council tax by 15 per cent. To increase council tax by any more than 3.99 per cent, a local referendum is required; however, Surrey County Council have said that without more funding from the government, they have no choice but to increase tax to cover the costs of providing sufficient care.

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