Adult care levy is ‘not a solution to funding gap’

George Osborne, government chancellor
George Osborne, government chancellor

The government’s announcement a “sticking plaster”, says council leader.

The government’s announcement that it would let council’s raise an additional 2% in council tax to help pay for adult social care, has been called a “sticking plaster”, by Warren Morgan.

Warren Morgan, leader of the city council

Warren Morgan, leader of the city council

The leader of the council said the funding from raising council tax by an additional 2% - on top of the 1.99% increase that councils can make without a referendum - was not enough to cover increased costs.

Government chancellor George Osborne announced the new rules in his Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

But Cllr Morgan said: “It is not a solution; it’s a sticking plaster. People are already saying that plugs the gap - well, no it doesn’t.

“We still have a £2.5 million gap between what we need to spend on social care and what we’ve got coming in, even after the cuts in the budget.”

He said it was putting the burden on “people who are already feeling the pressure financially” and “the government is passing on the cost of social care to residents”.

The additional 2% council tax rise would raise only £2 million.

If the city council did take advantage of the new flexibility over council tax increases, it could mean a 4% rise in bills for Brighton and Hove residents.

The draft budget proposals recommend a 1.99% rise for 2015/16 as it stands.