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GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Region

West Midland new money for social care by council

Sunday, February 14, 2016

GMB CALL ON 14 WEST MIDLANDS COUNCILS TO USE NEW POWERS ON COUNCIL TAX TO RAISE ADDITIONAL £173M PER YEAR BY 2019/20 TO FUND SOCIAL CARE

Councils are allocated extra funds from the Better Care Fund so new money could total £368.2 for councils in the region by 2019/20 which should spent on social care says GMB

GMB, the union for care home staff, is calling on all 14 county and borough councils in the West Midland to use to the full their new powers to raise an additional £173m per annum on the council tax by 2019/20 to have for residential care.

In the Spending Review authorities with social care responsibilities were given the flexibility to raise council tax in their area by up to 2% above the referendum threshold for each year between 2016-17 and 2019-20, to fund adult social care services. In addition the Government announced £1,500 million additional funding for local authorities to spend on adult social care by 2019-20, to be included in an improved Better Care Fund. See notes to editors for details of both announcements.

Using the 2% powers each year Birmingham City Council can raise an additional £24.6m per annum by 2019/20, Staffordshire can raise an additional £25.5 m per year, Worcestershire can raise an additional £20.1m per year and Warwickshire can raise an additional £21.4 m per year by 2019/20.

For Birmingham there is an additional £52.4 m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £77.0m new money for social care for 2019/20. For Staffordshire there is an additional £23.2 m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £487m new money for social care for 2019/20. For Worcestershire, there is an additional £12.7 m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £32.8m new money for social care for 2019/20. For Warwickshire there is an additional £9.3 m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £30.7m new money for social care for 2019/20.

The details for all 14 councils in the region are set out in the table below. The table includes details of how the £195m additional Better Care Funds for the region is allocated for each of the 14 councils and the final column sets out the total new money for all 14 councils by 2019/20.

For England as a whole If all councils responsible for social care raise council tax by the full 2% an additional £1.8bn will be available for adult social care by 2019/20. In addition to this an extra £1.5bn will be made available through the Better Care Fund.
Potential additional Council Tax revenue from Adult Social Care flexibility (£ millions)
Proposed Improved Better Care Fund (£ millions)
Total (£ millions)
2019-20
2019-20
  • England
1,804.0
1,500.0
3,304.0
  • West Midlands
173.3
195.0
368.2
rank
1
  • Birmingham
24.6
52.4
77.0
2
  • Staffordshire
25.5
23.2
48.7
3
  • Worcestershire
20.1
12.7
32.8
4
  • Warwickshire
21.4
9.3
30.7
5
  • Sandwell
7.5
17.9
25.4
6
  • Dudley
9.1
12.4
21.5
7
  • Coventry
9.7
11.6
21.3
8
  • Walsall
9.4
10.3
19.7
9
  • Shropshire
11.0
8.2
19.2
10
  • Wolverhampton
7.9
11.0
18.9
11
  • Stoke-on-Trent
6.6
11.7
18.3
12
  • Herefordshire
7.7
4.5
12.1
13
  • Solihull
7.8
4.2
12.0
14
  • Telford and the Wrekin
4.9
5.7
10.6

Joe Morgan, GMB Regional Secretary,  said, "GMB is calling on all 14 councils in the West Midland to use to the full their new powers to raise an additional £173m per annum on the council tax by 2019/20 to raise desperately needed funds for residential care.

GMB has published this list of how much cash councils can raise to ensure that they immediately start to raise every pound they can under these new powers.  GMB is also spelling out how much each council has been allocated from the Better Care Fund total to the region of £195m by 2019/20.

If social care is going to be adequately funded in future then increasing the tax base is an inevitable and important step along that road.

Allowing local authorities to raise council tax by 2% each year is only the start. This is because there are massive disparities in how much extra cash for care different councils will be able to generate. Some councils will be able to pay fair fees to providers, whilst others won't come close to bridging the funding gap. Where there is a funding shortfall the government must step and fill it.

We expect councils to spend every penny of this possible new money of £368.2m for the region on providing the care that our elderly and vulnerable deserve.”

End

Contact: Joe Morgan, GMB Regional Secretary on 07794 247960 or Amanda Gearing, GMB Senior Organiser on 07957 265678 or Sam Jones 07939 874272  or GMB Press Office: 07921 289880 or 07974 251823 or 020 7391 6755/56.

 

Notes to editors

1 Autumn Statement 2015 speech:

Mr Speaker, the health service cannot function effectively without good social care.

The truth we need to confront is this: many local authorities are not going to be able to meet growing social care needs unless they have new sources of funding.

That, in the end, comes from the taxpayer.

So in future those local authorities who are responsible for social care will be able to levy a new social care precept of up to 2% on council tax.

The money raised will have to be spent exclusively on adult social care – and if all authorities make full use of it, it will bring almost £2 billion more into the care system.

It’s part of the major reform we’re undertaking to integrate health and social care by the end of this decade.

To help achieve that I am today increasing the Better Care Fund to support that integration, with local authorities able to access an extra £1.5bn by 2019-20.

The steps taken in this Spending Review mean that by the end of the Parliament, social care spending will have risen in real terms.

Mr Speaker, a civilised and prosperous society like ours should support its most vulnerable and elderly citizens.

 

2 Spending Review and Autumn Statement document 2015

The Spending Review creates a social care precept to give local authorities who are responsible for social care the ability to raise new funding to spend exclusively on adult social care. The precept will work by giving local authorities the flexibility to raise council tax in their area by up to 2% above the existing threshold. If all local authorities use this to its maximum effect it could help raise nearly £2 billion a year by 2019-20. From 2017 the Spending Review makes available social care funds for local government, rising to £1.5 billion by 2019-20, to be included in an improved Better Care Fund.

The Spending Review and Autumn Statement announces a number of measures to help local authorities, with responsibility for adult social care, meet the needs of their population: • these authorities will be given an additional 2% flexibility on their current council tax referendum threshold to be used entirely for adult social care. If fully used it could raise nearly £2 billion a year by 2019-20 – enough to support more than 50,000 older people in care homes or almost 200,000 in their own homes.92 Including this precept, by 2019-20, the average Band D council tax bill in England will still be lower in real terms than it was in 2010-11, unless higher increases win the explicit support of local people in referenda

 

3 Written question asked by Steve Reed, Member of Parliament for Croydon North on 15 December 2015:

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of (a) the level of funding required to cover local authority spending on social care in the period to 2020 and (b) how much the proposed two per cent increase in council tax intended for the social care levy will have raised in funding by 2020 if every authority implements that proposal to the full.

Answered 5 January 2016 by Marcus Jones, Member of Parliament for Nuneaton

Ahead of the Spending Review, the Local Government Association estimated the gap in adult social care funding to be £2.9 billion - arising from a growing elderly population and introduction of the National Living Wage.

At Spending Review the Government outlined a package of support worth up to £3.5 billion to ensure councils are able to support some of their older and most vulnerable residents. That included giving authorities with social care responsibilities the flexibility to raise council tax in their area by up to 2% above the referendum threshold for each year between 2016-17 and 2019-20, to fund adult social care services. It is also providing £1500 million additional funding for local authorities to spend on adult social care by 2019-20, to be included in an improved Better Care Fund. Taken together, these measures provide significant resources to address the demographic pressures facing the social care system.

In terms of what the social care flexibility could raise, I refer the hon. Member to information accompanying the provisional local government finance settlement 2016-17, which my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Greg Clark), announced to the House on 17 December 2015, Official Report, Column 1722. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/council-tax-in-2016-to-2017  andhttps://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/486708/Core_spending_power_supporting_information.xlsx 

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