Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 16, 2016

LCC Response To Local Government Finance Settlement

Lancashire County Council lcc has responded to measures announced by the government to address rising social care costs. Councils can currently apply a 2% social care precept to council tax to help towards the cost of care. The Communities Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed changes to this as he announced details of council funding as part of the local government finance settlement on Thursday 15 December.

Increased flexibility will allow councils to increase the social care precept by 6% over 2 years, with a maximum increase of 3% each year. However, the total increase over the next three years cannot be more than 6%. Any council choosing to increase the social care precept by 3% over each of the next two years could not then apply a further increase in the third year. The government also announced that councils would receive a share of a new £240m national funding pot to help fund social care over the next year.

County Councillor David Borrow, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said “This week’s announcement leaves Lancashire in no better position than we have been forecasting, and actually by 2020/21 we could have an additional gap of over £8m on top of the £146m currently forecast. This is because the funding gap identified in our existing forecasts had already allowed for council tax increases of 3.99% every year for the next four years, including the maximum 2% per year precept allowed to help fund social care.

“The government has announced today that we can increase the social care precept from 2% to 3% in 2017-18, but can still only raise it by 6% over three years, and potentially no increase in 2020/21, which means we still predict a shortfall of well over £90m in funding for adult social care by 2020/21. The additional grant funding for Adult Social Care in 2017/18 from the national £240m pot will provide around £5.5m of additional funding for Lancashire but this is non-recurrent and does not therefore help to address the ongoing funding gap for adult social care”. It might be a whole lot cheaper for the LCC to seek  bankruptcy online. It costs £680 for an individual and probably not much more for LCC which will be bankrupt by 2018 or so anyway!

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