56p of every £1 of council tax could go to social care

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that 56p in every £1 that people pay in council tax may have to be spent caring for children and adults by 2020.

Ahead of the Autumn Statement, the LGA has stressed the strain being placed on already-restricted council budgets as a direct result of the rising demand for adult social care and children’s services.

To put in perspective, the local government body states that 6p in every £1 of council tax could be spent on collecting bins and recycling, 5p in every £1 on improving roads and street-lighting, 2p in every £1 on bus services and just over 1p in every £1 on trading standards, licensing and food safety.

The 56p prediction is an increase on 41p in 2010/11.

Claire Kober, chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: “Within two years, more than half of the council tax everyone pays could have to be spent on adult social care and children’s services. Councils will be asking people to pay similar levels of council tax while, at the same time, warning communities that the quality and quantity of services they enjoy could drop.

“Local government in England faces a £5.8 billion funding gap by 2020. An extra £1.3 billion is also needed right now just to stabilise the perilously fragile care provider market. The government must recognise that councils cannot continue without sufficient and sustainable resources. Local government must be able to keep every penny of taxation raised locally to plug funding gaps and pay for the vital local services our communities rely on. With the right funding and powers, local government can play a vital role in supporting central government to deliver its ambitions for everyone in our country.”