Justin Madders MP has criticised the Government’s plans to further cut local government funding and has accused the Conservatives of breaking their promise on Council Tax rates.
At Prime Ministers Questions, Justin challenged the Prime Minister over her plans to replace Government cuts to social care with increases to Council Tax of up to 6% by 2020. In Cheshire West & Chester, this would lead to Band D taxpayers forking out £78.04 more each year, before any other increases are announced to replace multi-million pound cuts to Government grants.
Analysis of the Local Government Finance Settlement by the Local Government Association reveals that local Councils will receive £2.2 billion less in Revenue Support Grant to run vital local services in 2017/18 than last year.
In Cheshire West & Chester, a cut of £12.51m every year in Government grants is scheduled.
While the Government claims to have increased investment to tackle the growing crisis in social care, the money for this is in fact coming from the pockets of local Council Tax payers and by redirecting funding that was already due be provided to Councils.
Justin Madders MP, Member of Parliament for Ellesmere Port & Neston, said:
“This Local Government Finance Settlement is bad news for Ellesmere Port & Neston, as Tory cuts to local government funding will put key local services under even more pressure.
“This Government was elected on a promise of keeping council tax increases low but they are now deliberately pursuing the opposite in a policy they have to resort to because of their failure to deal with the crisis in social care
“Local government has already severely suffered as a result of six years of brutal and devastating Tory cuts. While the new Labour leadership of Cheshire West & Council is doing a good job after years of Conservative mismanagement, they are being asked to do much more with £12.51 million less.
“The Government has finally acknowledged the crisis in social care but changes to the council tax precept are a short-term sticking plaster for a crisis which needs a sustainable, long-term and strategic solution.
“Winter is already here and there is not a penny more for the 1.2 million elderly people who are living without the care they need. What is clear is that the Government have no new ideas on how to fund social care, and are just passing the buck to overstretched local authorities and council tax payers.”