Tuesday 16th February 2016
Council has today voted to support a Green Party amendment that raises £3.5 million to support care homes, disabled services and home care services to help plug the worsening gap in adult social care services. The money will be raised by increasing council tax by an additional 2%, the equivalent of an extra 41p a week for the average household1 in Bristol.
Leader of the Green councillors, Ani Stafford-Townsend said:
“This money will help to prevent the worst cuts to those in most need of care. Whether you have a parent or grandparent who uses care home facilities, a neighbour who uses disability services or a friend who needs support struggling with depression or addiction, most of us know someone who has used adult social care services at some stage.”
“No one wants to put up council tax when people across the city struggle to pay their bills, but it is also unacceptable for older people and people with disabilities to be abandoned in their homes without care. To help those on the lowest income pay their council tax, Greens are campaigning for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme to be protected beyond next year.”
“The adult social care levy is the only way that local councils have of preventing the worst of adult social care cuts imposed by the Tory government. Many cities introduced it as a matter of course – but not Bristol. It seems no coincidence that in an election year the Mayor and the other parties have shied away from proposing this desperately needed council tax rise.”
“As Greens we feel that some things are just too important to play political games with. We are delighted that Labour and the Lib Dems have now joined with the Greens in voting to prevent the worst cuts to adult social care services. We hope they will continue to join with us and lobby central government to halt the ideological cuts that are seeing the destruction of our local services.”
The social care precept will see a weekly increase of 41p for band B households, the most common banding in Bristol.
Adult social care precept – the government spending review announced that upper tier councils would be able to collect a 2% precept to help fund adult social care, which is facing budget pressure in councils across the country. This gives councils the power to raise additional funds by increasing council tax by up to 2% in addition to any normal council tax rises. If adopted in Bristol, this additional 2% precept would raise £3.5m to be spent on adult social care over 2016/17. At present, the Mayor’s budget proposals have not taken up the government’s 2% precept offer. Current projections predict that the council will be £6.3m over budget for social care over 2015/16. More information can be found in the budget report being tabled at cabinet on Tuesday 12th January: https://www2.bristol.gov.uk/committee/2016/ua/ua000/0112_5.pdf.