Concerns have been raised over the suitability of the social care precept which councils are able to levy over their residents by a maximum of 5% . This measure is seen by some as a rather blunt tool to fix the funding of social care. Over half of local councils look set to increase the council tax rates of their residents this March / April.
Simon Bottery, Senior Fellow, Social Care at think tank the Kings Fund, said this morning that those places in the country with the greatest need for social care often have the greatest difficulty in raising funds. This is as a result of lower property values usually being in poorer areas which have lower health outcomes and these areas usually raise less income than wealthier areas with lower social care needs. He suggested that there was little point in raising money from local income to fund what was fundamentally a national problem. Mr Bottery said that a national solution is required to address the social funding crisis whereby the funding is collected on a national basis via an income tax or some form of social insurance and this is distributed across the nation where it is needed as opposed to on the basis of where council lines are drawn.
This debate will continue until the Government provides its roadmap to resolving the funding crisis.