Cllr Richard Kemp, the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health & Social Care at the Local Government Association has slammed the news that the Government is looking to deal with the care funding crisis by an increase in council tax precept, saying it will not be nearly enough to plug the gap and that full reform of funding is needed.

Cllr Kemp said: “The 2% increase in council tax this year brought in about £360 million nationally and still leaves a predicted gap of £2.2 billion by 2020. This would suggest that council tax would need to increase by about 14% to deal with this problem, ignoring any other inflationary problems faced by any provider of services.

“If council tax was a fair tax this might be acceptable but council tax is an inherently unfair tax. People who own a small terraced house in Liverpool already pay as much as the owner of a mansion flat in Westminster because of the way that the system works. Poor people pay a much higher proportion of their income in council tax than rich people.

“In places like my own city of Liverpool the needs of the extremely poor will be paid by the very poor if council tax is the only route for dealing with this problem.

“Next week I am taking part in a meeting with Norman Lamb and others about looking at the entire funding programme for health and social care. We need a national debate about these issues if we are to deal with the tsunami of issues coming from our increasing longevity.”

Jackie Charlton says

County Council will be left delivering this so it is vitally important that information is shared. I will be standing as a County Councillor next year and will see this as the major campaign headline in a rural area which struggles to keep people in touch. Need to have full facts and figures wherever possible and not allow UK national government just to duck out and pass over to cash strapped County Councils.

Barry Briars says

I appreciate that being a pensioner Im nearer the time i may need care but surely the answer is to get a good assessmemt of the required costs and fund it via income tax council tax will not all go directly to the fundscthe councils will waste it as usual

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