Rising council tax costs to fund social care crisis

An investigation has revealed that council tax in Manchester is set to rise by 5% to fund the social care crisis.

An investigation outlined government plans to increase council tax in April.  The changes affect some of the nation’s largest councils, including Manchester – where tax costs will rise by 4.99%.

The new tax rise will see some household bills increase by approximately £50. At least 28 of the nation’s biggest councils are included on the list of those planning to increase tax.

Councils within other major cities such as Liverpool, Bristol, Nottingham, Rotherham and Hull are set to raise the bill.

Rural regions such as Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and South Gloucestershire are also included in the list.

The 4.99% increase is the maximum percentage raise that can be issued without holding a referendum. Last April, Theresa May gave councils the permission to raise bills by 3%. May has also authorised another 3% increase during the next financial year.

This raise is in addition to the 1.99% increase already allowed. The Prime Minister aims to close the social care ‘funding gap’.

Due to percentage raises differing solely on area of residence, the GMB trade union called the the tax raise a “postcode lottery”.

The Local Government Association has issued warnings regarding the potential implications the rise in tax may have on public services. A £2.6 billion deficit or ‘black hole’ could result in cuts to libraries, museums and Sure Start centres.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman, Norman Lamb, called the new measure “unfair”. He said there is a need to “confront this properly” rather than “lurch from crisis to crisis”.

So far 41 town halls have confirmed plans to raise the bills. Other town halls are set to join the list once a budget has been finalised.

Despite aiming to improve social care, some say the effects of the tax increase will make the existing problem worse. Rather than reducing financial pressure on the poorest homes, some predict the rise will only inflate an already palpable pressure.

TNT Business

Photo Credit: stevepb

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