Council tax will rise by 6% over two years to fund social care – but will it be a postcode lottery?

LOCAL authorities in England are to be allowed to hike council tax by 3% for each of the next two years to help pay for social care, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced.

The move will add around £90 to the annual tax on an average Band D property, which currently stands at £1,530. But Mr Javid said it would go towards an additional £900 million funding for social care over the next two years.

Unions warned that it would create a “social care postcode lottery” as richer councils would be able to raise more cash from higher bills than those in disadvantaged areas where needs are greater.

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YP Comment: Social care tax requires clarity. Time for greater transparency

THE Government cannot win with its funding announcement on social care.

Some will say savings should be achieved from other budgets, notably foreign aid, while others contend that the rise in council tax bills, if town halls do choose to levy a precept, does not go far enough and won’t cover the cuts enforced by the last Parliament.

Either way, it does appear that Ministers are being disingenuous after Chancellor Philip Hammond was reportedly refused permission to raise the issue in last month’s Autumn Statement so not to blur Theresa May’s over-riding narrative about ‘just about managing’ families.

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