Shadow Secretary for Health Norman Lamb has critised Communities Secretary Sajid Javid over the government’s decision to raise council tax, in order to cover the rising cost of elderly care.
The Liberal Democrats have argued that the extra money should not come from tax increases.
In a statement, Norman Lamb said:
‘’Making Councils bear all the burden will increase the postcode lottery that already exists. It will mean that wealthy parts of the country will find it easier to meet rising demand whilst those areas where council tax raises less money will be left struggling.’’
He added: ‘’ The government must be held to account for the consequences of leaving more and more people without the care they desperately need.’’
Labour are also against the council tax rise. Labour MP for Worsley and Eccles South, Barbara Keeley said:
‘’Asking taxpayers to pick up the bill for the Tory’s failure is not a proper plan.’’
The government are deciding between two options- allowing councils to increase tax more than 2% for which they already have permission, or bringing forward extra money they have been promised in 2019.
Older people’s services – representing the bulk of care – have been particularly badly hit.
Spending has fallen by 9% over the past five years with local government blaming cuts to their funding from central government.
It means growing numbers have to go without help or pay for their own care – councils fund services only for the poorest, with those with assets of more than £23,250 are expected to pay the full cost of care themselves.
Regulators have warned that cuts have started adding to pressures in the NHS with A&E units said to be bearing the brunt.
Old and frail patients are being admitted because of the lack of community support, which is also being blamed for the growing number of delayed discharges – cases where patients are ready to leave hospital but cannot.