GMB Experts in the World of Work
Join GMB today
 Follow @GMB_union

2 March Lobby At Merton Council On Social Care

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

GMB Lobby Full Council Meeting Of Merton Council On 2nd March To Support 2% Social Care Increase To Council Tax To Fund Social Care

Additional funding has to be raised for the council to pay the £600+ per week that the Rowntree Trust recommends to provide a decent level of care in care homes says GMB.

GMB, the union for care workers, will lobby the full meeting of Merton Council on 2nd March calling on councillors to support a 2% increase in council tax each year to 2020 to fund social care.

This is after a cabinet meeting on Monday 15th Feb decided not to recommend the 2% increase to the full council meeting on 2nd March. Instead at the meeting, the cabinet unanimously agreed to implementing £5.06 million of cuts to adult social care.

 See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release dated 26th February 2016 showing how much each council in London can raise by 2020 if they use the full flexibility set out by the government in the autumn statement and the details of that flexibility.

Sheila Berry, GMB regional organiser, said “The Government in the Autumn Statement provided for councils to increase the council tax by 2% each year to 2020 to provide additional funding to social care sector that is facing a yawning funding gap.

GMB estimates that in Merton this could bring in over £7 million extra funding to provide support for the most vulnerable in the borough. 

Reducing spending on social care has to stop and the council has to raise more funds. We cannot have a repeat of what happened last year in Merton when a contract that was originally worth £1.4 million was awarded to a bidder for less than £990,000.

To achieve the cuts all the staff had their terms and conditions changed – they lost a third of their income and as most were long term NHS staff who had TUPE’d across, they also lost future accrual to their NHS pensions.  No one can afford to lose a third of their income, so a large number of them left. 

The result was that the people Merton are responsible for lost well qualified long standing members of staff, and a poorer service is being delivered.

The situation in the care homes is chronic and additional funding has to be raised for the council to pay the £600+ per week that the Rowntree Trust recommends to provide a decent level of care.

The full council meeting Merton must use this opportunity to collect the extra £7 million. GMB will be lobbying the councillors to support the 2% increase. GMB cannot tolerate the council's Nero like fiddling while the care homes burn”

End

Contact: Sheila Berry 07710 591388 or Gary Doolan on 07590 262504 GMB Press Office 07921 289880 or 07974 251823 or 07970 863411.

Notes to editors

GMB Press release dated 26th February 2016

GMB CALL ON 33 LONDON COUNCILS TO USE NEW POWERS ON COUNCIL TAX TO RAISE ADDITIONAL £264.7M PER YEAR BY 2019/20 TO FUND SOCIAL CARE

Councils are allocated extra funds from the Better Care Fund so new money could total £512.2m for councils in the capital by 2019/20 which must be spent on social care says GMB

GMB, the union for care home staff, is calling on all 33 councils in London with social care responsibilities to use to the full, their new powers to raise an additional £264.7m 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 Southwark Council for example can raise an additional £8.1m per annum by 2019/20, Lambeth can raise an additional £9.9m per year, Newham can raise an additional £7m per year and Tower Hamlets can raise an additional £7.4m per year by 2019/20. See table below for figure for all 33 councils in London.

For Southwark Council there is an additional £13.5m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £21.6m new money for social care for 2019/20. For Lambeth there is an additional £10.9m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £20.7m new money for social care for 2019/20. For Newham there is an additional £13.1m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £20.2m new money for social care for 2019/20. For Tower Hamlets there is an additional £12.8m from the Better Care Fund giving a total of £20.1m new money for social care for 2019/20.

The details for all 33 councils in London are set out in the table below. The table includes details of how the £247.4m additional Better Care Funds for London is allocated for each of the 33 councils and the final column sets out the total new money for all 33 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

 

London

264.7

247.4

512.1

rank

 

 

 

 

1

Southwark

8.1

13.5

21.6

2

Lambeth

9.9

10.9

20.7

3

Newham

7.0

13.1

20.2

4

Tower Hamlets

7.4

12.8

20.1

5

Barnet

14.1

5.9

19.9

6

Ealing

10.6

8.9

19.5

7

Hackney

6.6

12.8

19.3

8

Croydon

13.0

6.3

19.3

9

Lewisham

7.6

11.2

18.8

10

Brent

8.8

9.7

18.5

11

Greenwich

6.5

11.8

18.3

12

Westminster

4.3

13.9

18.2

13

Enfield

9.6

8.2

17.9

14

Wandsworth

4.5

13.3

17.8

15

Camden

8.3

9.4

17.7

16

Islington

6.7

11.0

17.7

17

Bromley

11.7

4.6

16.4

18

Haringey

9.0

6.7

15.8

19

Redbridge

8.3

7.1

15.3

20

Waltham Forest

8.4

6.6

15.0

21

Hillingdon

9.6

4.7

14.3

22

Havering

9.6

4.2

13.8

23

Hounslow

8.2

5.5

13.7

24

Harrow

9.2

4.1

13.3

25

Bexley

8.6

4.2

12.8

26

Hammersmith and Fulham

5.1

7.5

12.6

27

Barking and Dagenham

4.4

8.2

12.6

28

Kensington and Chelsea

6.6

5.3

11.9

29

Merton

7.2

3.1

10.3

30

Sutton

8.0

2.2

10.1

31

Richmond upon Thames

10.1

0.0

10.1

32

Kingston upon Thames

7.5

0.4

7.9

33

City of London

0.5

0.2

0.7

Paul Hayes, GMB Regional Secretary, said, "GMB is calling on all 33 councils in London who are responsible for social care to use to the full their new powers to raise an additional £264.7m 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 capital of £247.4m 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 £512.1 for the capital on providing the care that our elderly and vulnerable deserve.”

End

2 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  and https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/486708/Core_spending_power_supporting_information.xlsx

 



 

 

Share this page
+1