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Thursday, 19 January 2017

#Surrey County Council to hold a "tax referendum" on social care

Surrey County Council says it will hold a referendum on putting up council tax by 15% to fund social care.

It would mean an average bill in the Conservative-controlled authority would rise by £200 a year.

It's thought it could trigger other cash-strapped councils to follow suit to meet the cost of caring for people in their own homes.

Political Correspondent Beth Rigby says the County Council has given details this morning.

Here's Council leader David Hodge.

Department for Communities and Local Government Spokesman said:

"The Government has protected local residents from high council tax rises by allowing local people to veto them through a council tax referendum. If the council sets this proposed budget, then the taxpayers of Surrey will have the final say in a referendum in May. We should trust the people.

Our long-term funding settlement means more spending power for Surrey County Council during this parliament, with £3.2 billion to deliver the services that local people want.

This Government has also announced almost £900m of additional funding to tackle pressures on social care over the next two years. But money alone is not the solution.

We are clear that we need to find a long-term sustainable solution, including making sure all councils learn from the best performers to raise standards across the whole system."


Teresa Pearce, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, commenting on Surrey County Council's decision to hold a council tax referendum to fund adult social care, said:

"This Government's continuing failure to address the crisis in social care funding has left councils up and down the country in a desperate situation.

Despite repeated warnings from experts across the sector, the Government has yet again offered no fresh ideas and not a penny in extra funding to stem the crisis facing elderly, disabled and vulnerable people this winter.

Forcing councils to rely on council tax income to fund statutory services, such as social care, is simply unsustainable and unrealistic. Council tax will not plug the growing funding gap in the long-term, and it will create a postcode lottery in services, leaving the poorest councils struggling to get by.

The Government needs to come forward with urgent funding to address the immediate crisis as well as a sustainable and strategic vision for the future of social care. So far, they have done neither. It is elderly, disabled and sick people who are paying the price for their failure this winter."
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 12:54 pm  

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