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Cost of social care to rise to £800 per council tax payer

By 2019/20, 60p in every £1 collected through council tax will be spent on social care for vulnerable children and adults, data from the Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed.

For those paying council tax in the average bands B and D, £800 of their yearly contribution will go on care services such as home care, care home places and supporting children’s education.

As a result the amount of funds being spent on non-care services such as bin collections, flood protection and local libraries is set to be dramatically reduced. The LGA expect that 3p in every £1 will be spent on preventing homelessness and 5p will be spent on road repairs and street lighting, figures that will be reduced compared to funding in 2013/14 due to rising demand for care.

In 2013 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a freeze on council tax that would extend into 2015 and 2016 in a bid to protect council tax payers and help ‘bear down’ on the cost of living.

Chair of the LGA Councillor David Sparks said: “This analysis shows the pinch that families all over the country will feel from central government continuing to reduce funding for local services.

“It is likely that people will be paying similar levels of council tax over the next few years but most will see a lot less in return. People are rightly going to question why their streets and parks are less well kept, the local library is closing and bus services are being cut when they are still paying roughly the same council tax each month.

“The reality is that, within a few years, well over half of the council tax everyone pays will have to be spent on social care.

“With demand on these life and death services continuing to rise and funding from central government continuing to fall, councils will have little choice but to squeeze budgets for libraries, roads and street lighting.”

As well as reduced funds from council taxes, local councils have experienced a 40 per cent reduction in core funding from central Government since 2010 and the majority of councils claim there are now no more opportunities to make efficiency savings to save money.

Local government accounts for around £1 in every £4 spent by the Government, and the LGA want funding to be protected in the next parliament to protect the money for community services funded by local authorities.

Mr Sparks continued: “No part of the public sector has faced bigger cuts to funding than councils during this Parliament and the efficiency savings local government has made since 2010 cannot be made again.

“If the services which bind together communities and underpin people’s daily lives are to survive the next few years, the next Government must provide fair funding and give local authorities the freedom required to pay for them.”

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