Barbara has criticised Government Ministers for dumping the Social Care funding crisis onto local councils, through their announcement that councils will be able to increase council tax to pay for social care.
In a statement to Parliament, the Local Government Secretary announced plans to allow local councils to increase the social care precept to pay for social care. It can increase from 2% to 3% from April 2017 and a further 3% the year after. A 3% increase to the average Band D property bill of £1,530 would be £46 next year – and a rise of more than £90 in 2018-19, compared with this year.
Barbara criticised the announcement, saying that funding from the social care precept was a short-term sticking plaster that would not resolve the care funding crisis. She said that Ministers were forcing local councils to deal with a funding crisis caused by Government cuts. Barbara commented that the move would also widen inequality between richer and more deprived areas and would leave thousands of people without the care they need.
“Social care is in crisis. It is a crisis created by this Tory Government, due to £5 billion being cut from adult social care budgets since 2010. The Government’s failure to deal with the crisis means that our social care system is now at breaking point in many areas.
“Once again the Government expects councils to cope with the increasing financial burden of social care. In the short term what was needed was funding to stabilise the care sector but they failed to find this. The Government also needs to develop a sustainable, long-term solution to deal with the Care crisis, but they have so far failed that too. Ministers are simply passing the buck and placing even more financial pressure on councils in Greater Manchester and their council tax payers.
“This is a critical time for our fragile care system. The fact that there is no extra funding for care in the winter months will also mean more vulnerable people could be left without the care they need.”