Council tax is set to rise again this year - but three percent of the five percent increase imposed by Bucks County Council will go towards our social care, according to leader Martin Tett.
Mr Tett says that due to a rise in Buckinghamshire’s elderly population, the extra money is needed to make sure that the current services the council offers can continue. He also claimed the inflated funding will help take pressure off NHS services.
Mr Tett said: “The money is ringfenced, so it can only be spent on social care, we are going to spend it on things like trying to keep people out of care homes, keeping people healthy in their own homes, and keeping people out of hospital.”
He added: “It’s been very tough, one of the things we are finding is that the national living wage increase has put up all the costs in the care sector, a lot of people in this industry do domiciliary care and are on the minimum wage, and this has led to a significant uplift in costs.”
The Government’s new social care precept means that the council can up council tax for the next three years, to help to maintain services.
Mr Tett added: “With will mean a 5% increase in our precept, but 3% of that will go specifically on elderly adults and adults with learning difficulties and specific needs.
“By and large people are healthier which is good, and we found out just this week that people are choosing to work for longer, these are all positive things. But the older pensioners are still needing care, that previous generation, and the system is under pressure.
“This ringfenced money will be used to maintain the care that we provide, I am not saying that the care will stay the same for the next four years because we need to progress over time.”
Over the next four years the council has to make £46million in savings. This is in part to a total stoppage of the grant that Bucks County Council receives from the Goverment, one of only two authorities so far to receive the cut which starts next year.
Mr Tett added: “A lot of money is not there in the system anymore, the council’s budget is going down.”