Tories are baffled over how to pay for social care costs, so they’re threatening to raise council taxes.
THE COUNCIL TAX could be increased to help pay for the rising social care issue, with the Conservative Party split on how to best address the deteriorating system.
Boris Johnson said he is “acutely aware” of local authorities’ weak finances as demands grow for them to raise council tax to pay for social care. While recognizing that local governments’ coffers have been “drained” during the Covid pandemic during the past 18 months, Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed that his Conservative Party government will ensure that they can afford the rising expenses of social care. Local governments have warned that they will require an additional £2.6 billion per year merely to sustain existing levels of social care.
They cautioned that unless the government provided cash, council tax would have to be increased by up to 9% to assist close the shortfall.
Ministers are apparently considering ideas that would allow councils to boost the social care component of council tax, which is presently set at 3%, without requiring a local vote.
They’re also discussing an alternative that would include a direct cash injection in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s impending budget review, recognizing that social care cannot be allowed to deteriorate following Mr Johnson’s vow to restore it at the outset of his tenure.
When questioned if the referendum requirement should be removed, the Prime Minister said, “We’ll have to make sure that we can fund the price of social care.”
“But I’m also painfully aware of the financial predicament in which local governments find themselves.
“All of those issues are on our minds.”
However, a senior government source told The Times that ministers are hesitant to impose further tax hikes as long as people are struggling to make ends meet.
National Insurance will be raised by 1.25 percentage points to pay the NHS and revamp social care in the long run, according to the government.
Mr Johnson appeared to refuse to rule out more tax hikes in an interview on Sunday.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show as the Conservative Party Conference began, “If I can possible prevent it, I do not want to raise taxes again, of course, and neither does Rishi Sunak.”
Councils have been assured that the new “health and care levy” will bring in £5.4 billion over the next three years. “Brinkwire News Summary.”