Portfolio Holders at Hull City Council have said a Government decision to allow Councils to raise tax by three per cent in 2017 and 2018 is inherently unfair.
Cllr Hale, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance, and Cllr Lunn, Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Adult Social Care, have said that, while additional funding is desperately needed for adult social care, the Government’s proposals will penalise local people and fail to raise enough money to address the financial crisis facing these services.
Cllr Lunn said: “While more funding is desperately needed for adult social care, these Government proposals are not a fair, effective or appropriate way to provide it. The reality is that in Hull, 75 per cent of our properties fall within Council Tax Band A, meaning the city will not be able to raise anywhere near enough to meet our adult social care funding needs, even if the Council does decide to implement these tax rises.
“The other issue here is that the burden of these extra costs will fall on people who are already struggling to cope; any increase in living costs could be enough to push them over the edge.
“It is absolutely clear that adult social care desperately needs a greater level of funding in order to cope with the increasing demand placed on services by a growing aging population. However, it should be better funded and appropriately funded through central Government”.
Cllr Hale added: “The proposed method of raising these essential extra funds for adult social care places an unfair burden on tax payers and is a postcode lottery as to how much money Councils have the ability to raise. Wealthier areas can raise much more but their needs are often much less.
“There would have been much better ways available to central Government of doing this, including considering bringing forward Better Care funding currently allocated for later years.
“While no decision has yet been made about whether to implement these increases, and any decision we make will be subject to the usual democratic processes, we will have to bear in mind that we must find some way of directing extra money toward adult social care as it is desperately needed”.
Hull City Council is currently in the process of reshaping the way it delivers adult social care. The plans, which will deliver savings of around £18m by 2020, are intended to create services which are fit for purpose and give service users more freedom to and opportunity to live independently.
Hull has a higher than average number of people within its adult social care system, with 57 per cent of the population compared with an average of 44 per cent.