Richmond Council’s Deputy Leader has warned that Council Tax payments could increase due to the Government shifting the social care crisis onto the people.
Cllr Geoffrey Samuel responded to the Government announcement last week that councils will be able to increase Council Tax by 6% overthe next two years in order to fund social care services.
He said: “In short – there is no new money for social care. The Government approach to managing the problems with social care could mean higher bills for you! They are passing the buck onto local councils rather than taking responsibility for what is a national issue.
“Although the Government announced a new Adult Social Care Grant – this is funded by cutting our New Homes Bonus. They are robbing one pot to give to another. Plus this money will be a tiny percentage of what we need.
“We are an ageing borough. Our highest spend is on social care. It pays for services for our most elderly and vulnerable residents. As our borough ages, so our social care costs rise.
“By 2019 Richmond Council will have lost 66% of the Government funding it received in 2015/16. Therefore we need to save over £30m by 2019/20
“As a Council we have a responsibility to do all we can to minimise Council Tax rises, but we also have to provide for a very wide range of other services that are of high importance to our residents – children’s social care, roads, pavements, parks and libraries to name but a few.
“If we go down the road proposed by Government, Council Tax could increase.”