BREAKING NEWS: Surrey Council to put 15% social care tax hike to voters

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Surrey Council will ask voters to approve a 15% hike in council tax to pay for social care.

The council is to stage the referendum alongside local elections on May 4.

David Hodge, leader of Surrey Council, said: “We have to set a budget that will protect vital services for Surrey residents.

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“Government has cut our annual grant by £170m 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 £450m worth of savings from our annual budget, we have no choice but to propose this increase in council tax.”

The move comes after the government announced that it was enabling local authorities to raise council tax by up to 6% over the next two years

The announcement received a mixed response from the care sector (see NEWSFLASH: Mixed response to social precept).

Surrey Council is unlikely to be the last local authority to propose a higher hike in council tax to pay for social care.

Care Home Professional spoke to another council in the south of England who said it could consider a similar move.

Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, told Care Home Professional: “What we need is a clear national and long term approach to funding social care and the current system leads to a post code lottery.”

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