We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)


March 7, 2019 5:30 PM

'Council Tax Rises in 2019/20 will not bring in enough money to prevent the need for further cutbacks to the care that millions of older and disabled people rely on every day'.(LGA March 2019) Social care image

Suffolk County Council like other councils are able to raise council tax by up to 2.99% in 2019/20 to fund local services without the need for a referendum. This is the final year however that social care authorities are able to levy an extra social care precept **, which must be spent on adult social care services.

Suffolk CC decided to take the largest % precept in the first and second years of the scheme so they are only left with 1% for the forthcoming year*.

Extensive research by the Local Government Association has revealed:

  • Those Councils still with the ability to levy a adult social care precept will raise an extra £197 million in total to pay for adult social care services this year. The LGA is warning this is not even equivalent to the estimated £290 million cost to councils of paying for the increase in the Government's National Living Wage this year.

The LGA has estimated that even if all councils used their council tax flexibility to the maximum allowed, adult social care services still face a funding gap of at least £1 billion in 2019/20, just to maintain existing standards of care. This will rise to £3.6 billion by 2025.

The dignified care and support which older and disabled people deserve, such as help getting dressed, fed or getting out and about and generally being able to live the lives they want to lead, therefore remains at risk. Vital social care services will be unable to continue to help ease the pressure on the NHS while the threat of a care home crisis remains very real.

Councils will have to divert funding from other cherished local services - such as bus services, parks, filling potholes, libraries and leisure centres - this year to try and protect adult social care services.

Suffolk County Council have indeed made further planned cuts to services including phased cuts to the CAB service (after 6,500 people signed a Petition against the cuts), cut the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and related youth services, housing related support for people with own tenancies and provision of hostel beds, street lighting, sponsored bus services (increased community transport), cuts to winter gritting and out of hours services, roadside grass cutting, road sign cleaning and roadside bus timetables.

The LGA is calling for the Government to use its Spending Review to tackle the immediate adult social care funding gap and publish a comprehensive Green Paper on social care to find a truly long-term, sustainable funding solution to this adult social care crisis.

Cllr Howard Sykes, LGA Liberal Democrat Leader at the LGA, said: "Adult social care provides vital support to millions of people every day but is at breaking point. Raising council tax has never been the long term answer to fixing our chronically underfunded social care system.

Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care Spokesperson at the LGA Cllr Richard Kemp added: "Investing in social care is the best way to keep people out of hospital and living independent, dignified lives at home and in the community. "Liberal Democrats want to raise £6 billion additional revenue which would be ringfenced to be spent only on social care and health services, funded by a 1p rise on the basic, higher and additional rates of Income Tax." Social Care Icon


  • **Social care council tax precept increases have not been able to exceed 6 per cent over the 3 year period from 2017/18 to 2019/20
  • Councils have reduced the average number of delayed transfers of care days attributed to social care since July 2017 by 43 per cent, freeing up more hospital beds for those that need them.
  • Latest figures show that councils in England receive 1.8 million new requests for adult social care a year - the equivalent of nearly 5,000 a day. and spend now accounts for nearly 40 per cent of total council budgets.
  • Councils will receive £240 million extra funding for adult social care and £410 million, for both adults and children's social care, in 2019/20. While this funding is helpful, the LGA is clear that short-term measures and one-off funding do not address the full extent of all immediate pressures on the adult social care system.

Find out more. Source: LGA Lib Dems - March 2019

Lib dems Demand Better (Lib Dems)