On Monday I asked David Mowat MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, how it is going to be possible for Liverpool City Council to spend more of its budget on adult social care in the future.
Since 2010 the Government has cut the council’s budget by £330million, a reduction of 58%, and is forcing the council to cut a further £90million over the next three years.
Currently Liverpool Council raises £146million in council tax but already spends £151 million on adult social care in the city. The government’s plans to allow councils to raise council tax to bring in extra funds will not be able to plug this gap.
It is important to remember that many of the UK’s most deprived areas are served by Liverpool Council. The amount of council tax that Liverpool Council can raise is limited and many elderly residents need extra financial support in later life. With this in mind it is clear that raising council tax will not raise the necessary funds to cope with an aging population, nor with the higher level of need in our area.
Knowsley Council will also soon face similar problems, since 2010 Knowsley has had a real terms cut in funding of 52% adding up to £75million less from central Government. Knowsley will have to save another £46 million over the next four years.
Like all councils Knowsley spends the majority of its budget on adult social care. With the council wards of Halewood North and South in the top 10 most deprived areas in the country it will be impossible for Knowsley to raise enough council tax to prevent a shortfall in funding for adult social care.
I am concerned that Liverpool is heading for a funding crisis in adult social care and the minister’s answer to my question gave no indication that the government recognises this growing problem in towns and cities across the UK.
You can watch the full video of my question and the minister’s response with this link: Adult Social Care Question