Official statistics released today (30 June 2016) show that councils are planning to invest an extra £308 million this year on adult social care services.
Councils are upping their spending by 2.2% to £14.4 billion this year – thanks to a new revenue raising flexibility introduced at the historic local government finance settlement.
At the same time council taxes are staying down, with average bills set to be less in real terms in 2020 than they were in 2010.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:
At a time when local authorities are playing their part in paying down the deficit, more than £300 million extra will be invested this year to deliver high-quality adult social care services.
Councils will have almost £200 billion to spend on services over the lifetime of this Parliament and I’m pleased the vast majority are also making use of new flexibilities to prioritise the services people really care about.
Delivering quality services
Local authorities are working hard to deliver a better deal for local taxpayers by keeping costs down whilst maintaining public satisfaction with services.
At a time when the public sector is playing its part in paying down the deficit, the local authority revenue expenditure and financing 2016 to 2017 budget statistics show local authorities plan to increase overall spending on:
- children’s and families social care services – up £136 million
- police services – up £143 million
- public health services – up £175 million
- adult social care – up £308 million
As part of the long-term local government finance settlement councils have almost £200 billion to spend on services over the lifetime of this Parliament including an extra £3.5 billion available for care of the elderly and vulnerable.
This is over and above the £2.9 billion identified as needed in October 2015 by the Local Government Association.
Up to £2 billion will come from the new flexibility to introduce a 2% ‘social care precept’ – the equivalent of £23 a year on an average Band D home in 2016 to 2017 – to provide dedicated caring for the growing elderly population. Already the vast majority of local authorities are using this new flexibility.
A further £1.5 billion will be available to councils to work with the NHS to ensure that care is available for older and vulnerable people, including following hospital treatment through the Better Care Fund.
By the end of this decade councils will also be self-sufficient – funded from revenues they raise locally, rather than central government grants. This will give them control over an additional £13 billion of tax revenues.
For a 3-year period from the 1 April 2016, local authorities are also able to spend any revenues they generate from selling surplus assets – like property or shares and bonds – to fund the costs of improvements to essential services.
The statistics show that already local authorities are planning on raising over £80 million to invest in transforming services.