In order to pay for his expansive social reforms, Age UK is reporting that Boris Johnson will need to hike Council Tax Payment for families around the country. As a result, the charity estimates this will cost an average ‘Band D’ household up to £180 more per year. However, this could vary in different parts of the country. This is proven to be controversial for many Britons as Council Tax has already been increased by a staggering 19 percent over the past four years.
Specifically, the event included a pretend fight between a ‘Hero Rishi’ and ‘Villain Rishi’ to emphasise the severity of the decision Mr Sunak will have to make over social care funding.
The Government has promised further social care funding will be outlined as part of the next Spending Review, which will be revealed by the Chancellor in two weeks time.
Mr Johnson has already announced the controversial 1.25 percent hike on National Insurance payment for workers and employers as part of his social care reforms.
According to calculations carried out by Age UK, a 10 percent increase on Council Tax across the nation would only raise £3.3 billion.
While this figure gets close to what is needed, it does not match the initial starting point suggested by the Health and Social Care Select Committee.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director for Age UK and the Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, outlined why a Council Tax rise would be a detrimental way of funding social care.
Ms Abrahams said: “For the sake of millions of older and disabled people, social care needs a big injection of extra funding now and over the next few years – but it should come from central Government, not by massively hiking Council Tax.
“Social care’s problems are national, as the Prime Minister recognised with his promise to ‘fix them once and for all’, so it’s not fair for Ministers to try to shift the responsibility onto local areas to stump up the cash.
“Our new analysis shows that even if you make local people pay a whopping additional 10 percent in Council Tax – on top of the 19 percent average rise we’ve seen in recent years.
“It still won’t give social care all the money it needs, and meanwhile this intensifies the postcode lottery which means older people have much more chance of getting a decent care service in some places, compared to others.
“Social care provision is too important to too many people for its fate to depend on local politics and local tax bases.”
While Mr Johnson has led the charge publicly on social care reform, Ms Abrahams explained why the Chancellor will ultimately be the one to
She added: “It’s down to the Chancellor now, Rishi Sunak MP, to decide how much funding to give social care over the next few years, and from which sources, in his Spending Review.
“The stakes could not be higher: his decisions will determine whether social care services continue to wither and die, just about stand still or, more optimistically, get stronger over the next three years.
“It was the Prime Minister who made the promise to give older people dignity in later life through his social care reforms – a fantastic goal – but it’s the Chancellor now, above all, who will determine whether we make progress towards it, or not.”
Speaking to Express.co.uk, a Government spokesperson said: “We are taking action to fix the social care crisis across the country, investing an additional £5.4 billion over the next three years to deliver a comprehensive programme of reforms, and introducing a new Health and Social Care Levy that will raise £12 billion a year to fund the NHS and social care for the long term.
“We have also allocated more than £12 billion directly to councils over the past 18 months – with more than £6 billion available to spend as they see fit – recognising that councils are best placed to deal with local issues.
“The Spending Review will continue to focus on supporting jobs and delivering on the people’s priorities.”
Mr Sunak’s Spending Review is set to place, alongside his autumn Budget, on October 27, 2021.