Households in Lichfield and Burntwood have been told plans for a 2.99% increase in council tax bills will allow for record-breaking spending on social care to take place.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet has backed plans for the increase, which will see an average Band D property pay an additional 78p a week, or around £40 a year.
The decision – which will go to full council at a meeting in February for a final decision – comes as the authority also outlined plans to spend more than £360million on social care for vulnerable adults and children across the county next year.
Of the proposed 2.99% increase in council tax being proposed, 1% would be ring-fenced for care spending.
Cllr Ian Parry, cabinet member for finance and resources, said ways needed to be found to foot the bill for the rising cost facing the council.
“We will always help those who need support, but until there is a sustainable, national solution to the provision of adult social care, it will remain the single biggest expenditure of this and similar councils.
“The Government’s planned increase in National Insurance is intended to support social care but in the short term that money is being used for the NHS, so for the time being the council has to carry on funding such care from council tax.
“We’re also very aware that the Government’s plans for adult social care reforms, including the £86,000 individual spending cap, mean that in future more people will be eligible for their care to be funded by the Council and there will be higher costs from providers.
“Not only do we need that long term solution, but a settlement spanning several years, rather than just 12 months at a time, would let us plan for the future and share our long-term thinking with residents.”Cllr Ian Parry, Staffordshire County Council
The county council said that while almost two thirds of its net budget is earmarked for social care, money would also be set aside for projects in other areas including the economy, regeneration and road repairs.
The proposed budget would include £18million to improve school buildings, £5.4million to continue a push for carbon net-zero through initiatives such as LED streetlights, and a £44million investment in highways.
Cllr Alan White, leader of the county council, said:
“Despite another challenging year for society, we look forward with confidence in the ability and resourcefulness of Staffordshire’s residents, communities and businesses to work together for a better future.
“We are committed to continued investment in business development, school expansion and town centre regeneration projects, as well as additional road repairs and preparing for the next generation of broadband to meet the needs of our growing county and create good jobs on our doorstep.”Cllr Alan White, Staffordshire County Council