Council tax rise to help fund care for elderly and vulnerable

Posted on: 16 February 2017

Devon County Council today (16 February 2017) agreed a 4.99 per cent increase in council tax to help fund a big boost for under-pressure social care.

The rise equates to an extra £60.30 a year for the average Band D council taxpayer or just over £1 a week.

This means Devon will be charging £1,267.92 for a Band D property.

Councillors agreed a rise of 1.99 per cent for general services such as education, caring for children, roads and economic development.

They also accepted the Government’s offer of a three per cent increase to spend directly on adult health and social care.

Cllr John Clatworthy

This will help fund a big boost of £18.7 million or nearly 10 per cent more for services for the elderly and vulnerable.

Devon’s deputy leader and finance chief John Clatworthy said: “We are championing the elderly, the vulnerable and the young.

“With reduced Government support and the increased demand and cost pressures on adult care and health, it is essential to take advantage of this.

“We need the certainty of income to protect services as caring for the elderly and disabled people, together with children, are our highest priorities.”

Cllr John Hart

Council leader John Hart said: “We have considered this increase very seriously indeed  because we are well aware of the strain that household budgets are under.

“But everyone knows that health and social care is under intense pressure and we must step up to the plate and do our utmost to look after our frail elderly and the most vulnerable in our communities.

“The rise will cost the average Band D council taxpayer £1.16 a week extra and I believe we are justified in asking for that to help protect and support some of the most vulnerable people in society.”

7 comments on “Council tax rise to help fund care for elderly and vulnerable

  1. Jeremy says:

    Before people throw their arms up about the increase in Council Tax to help relieve the pressures on services for the elderly, consider this: if it were YOU in old age struggling to get the social care you needed to live as independently as you could with dignity, would you not want the community to help contribute to the cost of that provision? Too many elderly, frail or mental health-affected people (like dementia) don’t have the services they need to live the remainder of their lives in dignity and as much independence as possible. We are all going to get old at some point and I want to see them live in dignity rather than struggle day to day because the help they need is not available. As someone with a parent with severe dementia I know what it takes to keep them in dignity, loved and well looked after and it’s no small effort. Think of others before you criticise the increase in the council tax. We are all in this together whether you like it or not.

  2. Anon says:

    This is disgusting! we already pay towards the elderly through our tax and national insurance. There is no doubt we are failing the elderly, however we are already giving so much of our income. The government need to step up and use the money we already give them more efficiently… less pay increases for them might be a start. Devon is one of the most expensive places to live and salaries are some of the lowest… thank you to making life even harder for us. I look forward to my 1% pay increase which will cover absolutely none of these extra costs.
    Thank you for making me even worse off!

  3. anon says:

    Totally unacceptable! We’ve seen year on year increases in council tax with no visible value for money. Not only is DCC increasing its portion of the council tax, but so are the Police, Fire Service and local councils. Has this been taken into account? – probably not.

    Not only that but single occupants still only receive a 25% discount meaning that they pay more than a household with 2 or more occupants! Every tax rise effects this group of people – which also includes the elderly!

  4. Ralph Habens says:

    I am considering withholding 3.99% of the 4.99% of the proposed 2017/18 council tax rise and make a small stand to put pressure back on the Conservative government to reconsider it’s fiscal & budgetary priorities. Reasons are a) Tax increase but with ongoing cut back’s in services and increasing many other ancillary charges. b) The effect of ‘self inflicted’ inflationary pressure from Brexit process that has not even commenced yet. c) The effects on the less well off of cuts across the public sector particularly younger people. d) Personally being forced into early ‘semi-retirement’ by the Conservative ‘Culling the Quango’s political ideology.
    I intend to write to the Chief Executive of DCC, SHDC and MP with a more comprehensive argument in due course.

  5. Jay says:

    I quite agree with Chris. Council Tax takes no account of current financial status and is totally iniquitous.

  6. Chris Longworth says:

    Despicable national government loading expenditure onto the most regressive tax. A three per cent increase in income tax (with higher personal allowances) would be fairer.

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