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Council plans double-digit social care tax rise

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Surrey County Council plans to hold a referendum on a 16% tax rise to fund social care, according to a report.

The Daily Mail says the council plans to put the proposal, which would ignore a social care tax cap, to residents.

If approved the move would add £200 to annual average tax bills. Other councils are reported to be planning to follow Surrey’s lead.

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Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced plans in December to raise the social care precept by up to 6% over the next two years following intense pressure to release more funding for care (see NEWSFLASH: Mixed response to social care precept changes).

Mel Few, the councillor responsible for Surrey’s social care, said the local authority’s finances were “on a cliff edge”.

He said it was too early to speculate on the figure of the proposed rise, but added: “We are talking big numbers.

“There is not one county council responsible for social care that is not looking down a black hole. I think once the rest of the councils that are in desperate need see there is a way out, I would not be surprised [if they follow with their own referendums].

The Local Government Association has said the social care funding gap will reach £2.6billion by the end of this Parliament. It has warned measures announced by Mr Javid, including the rise in the ceiling for demand increases, “fall well short” of what is needed.

Tags : FundingLegislation
Lee Peart

The author Lee Peart

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