CHRON POLL: Would you be willing to pay an extra £200 a year to help Northamptonshire's cash-strapped adult social care?

With councillors in Surrey planning to hike tax by a whopping 15 per cent - should cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council consider doing the same?

Friday, 20th January 2017, 5:44 pm
Updated Friday, 20th January 2017, 5:57 pm
Would you be willing to pay more tax to cover the black hole in adult social care funding?

Yesterday, Surrey County Council declared plans to hold a shock referendum, where it will ask the public to consider raising the average council tax bill by £200-a-year.

The Government has cut the authority's annual grant by £170 million since 2010, leaving a huge gap in its budget.

Councillors have already trimmed £450 million from its budget since then, prompting leader David Hodge to declare: "We have no choice but to propose this increase in council tax," on Thursday.

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But here in Northamptonshire, the Conservative-run authority has cut close to £300 million from its budget since 2010.

In 2017/18 it will need to take £24 million out of adult social services, the department which looks after older people and those with severe disabilities, even as the county's elderly population expands.

Last week the Chron announced one of the measures will see adults in need of care who earn more than £23,250 per year in savings and capital investments required to pay £50, just to be assessed for their care eligibility.

Daventry District Council bosses even discussed how the county council might be at risk of ‘insolvency’ due to its financial difficulties.

The county's population is to grow by more than 120,000 by 2037; the highest growth rate being those aged 70 and over.

There has also been a 70 per cent increase in the number of safeguarding alerts the county's adult social care must respond to in the last two years.

So what do you think - is it time we bit the bullet and hiked tax by a whopping 15 per cent to cover social care? Or is the predicted £200 rise on the average bill just too much?