“Cost of care will take up most of council tax within two years”

”Most of the council tax people pay will need to be spent on providing care for children and adults within two years, the LGA has warned.

It said almost 60 pence out of every £1 of council tax be taken up by the rising demand for social care and children’s services by 2020, leaving less money for other vital local services, like collecting bins, fixing potholes, buses, street lighting and food safety.

The LGA is calling on the Government to use the Autumn Budget to allow local government as a whole to keep all the business rates it collects to plug funding gaps.

Cllr Claire Kober, Chair 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. 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. 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.”

Cllr Kober will be interviewed by ITV News today and the story is running across Sky News bulletins.”

Source: Mail p8, Times p2

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