A senior councillor has accused the Government of dumping the spiralling cost of social care on council tax payers.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will announce today that local authorities in England will be allowed to bring forward council tax increases totalling six per cent over the next two years to pay for social care, a move which will add more than £90 to the average bill for a Band D property.
A Sunderland Council spokeswoman said any decision on a rise would be made as part of the authority’s budget deliberations but Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services Coun Graeme Miller said:“Any rise in the precept is a further tax rise on local residents
“The Government should just accept it needs to invest more money to address its wilful under-funding over the past six years. Sunderland and many local authorities are struggling to cope.
Just 13% of council funding came from council tax, he added: “The majority of the council’s budget comes from the Government and this has been severely cut since 2010. The two per cent precept last year didn’t even cover the increase in the National Living Wage for adult social care staff - let alone anything else.
“Increasing the council tax bills of householders won’t plug the gap, it will just create a postcode lottery between wealthier and poorer parts of the country.
“The Government’s proposal does not and will not pay for adult social care in Sunderland. It will be the residents who end up paying extra tax to cover the Government’s wilful under-funding that still leaves us with a reduction in service provision.”