Vital services could be cut to fund increasing costs of adult social care
PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 December 2017
Almost 60 per cent of taxpayers' money will be swallowed up by care services for children and adults in just three years, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).
According to analysis by the LGA, nearly 60p in every £1 paid in council tax may have to be spent on care by 2020, leaving local authorities with less money to run leisure centres and libraries and fix potholes.
The LGA predicts for every £1 of council tax collected in 2019/2020, 56p will be spent on caring for the eldery, vulnerable adults and children. This is up from 41p in 2010/11.
North Somerset Council expects to spend £65.3million on adult social care this year. A spokesman said: “We, like most other councils, have had to absorb more demand and cost in social care services.
“Approximately 61 per cent of our net revenue budget is spent across children’s and adult services and this continues to rise year on year, with corresponding cuts having to be made in other frontline service areas.”
The LGA is concerned council cash for vital day-to-day services is running out fast. Claire Kober, chairman of the LGA’s resources board, said: “Demand for services caring for adults and children continues to rise but core funding from central Government to councils continues to go down.
“This means councils have no choice but to squeeze budgets from other services, such as roads, street lighting and bus services to cope.
“Within two years, more than half of the council tax everyone pays may 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 the quality and quantity of services they enjoy could drop.
“Local government in England faces a £5.8billion funding gap by 2020. Even if councils stopped filling potholes, maintaining parks and open spaces, closed all children’s centres, libraries, museums, leisure centres, turned off every street light and shut all discretionary bus routes, they still would not have saved enough money to plug this gap in just two years.
“The Government must recognise councils cannot continue without sufficient and sustainable resources.”