The government has been criticised by local Liberal Democrats after it announced that Councils will be permitted to raise Council Tax by up to 3% per year over the next two years to fund adult social care.
The increase will be on top of the discretionary general increase of up to 2%, meaning Council Tax bills could go up by 10% in total over the next two years.
Councillor Tim Ball (Twerton), spokesperson on Health and Wellbeing, said: “We have been hearing for years about the national crisis in social care funding, yet the government is refusing to seriously address the issue.
“This is a short-term answer to a long-term problem. What is needed is a complete overhaul of funding for the NHS and care system.”
Councillor Andrew Furse (Kingsmead), who is the B&NES Lib Dem shadow on Finance and Efficiency, said: “The government is passing these costs on to local Council tax payers. This hike will put the heaviest burden on the least well-off in B&NES – those who pay the biggest proportion of their earnings in Council tax – and will make it harder for them to manage financially.
“It is an unfair way to raise the extra money that is needed to cover the growing care bill.”
In the financial year 2016-2017, Council Tax in B&NES went up by 3.5%. This was made up of the 2% social care precept for this year and a 1.5% general increase.