The Hertfordshire Lib Dems have helpfully put together the below press release example for the social care campaign.
TORY STICKING PLASTER WILL NOT CLOSE GAPING WOUND
Local Lib Dems have revealed that the Government’s plan to allow Hertfordshire County Council to raise council tax by 1% will only raise a small proportion of the county’s social care budget – just 1.6%. This means that older and disabled people will still face a massive shortfall in funding needed. The funding gap at the moment locally, caused by demography, inflation and the living wage, is £16 million.
Figures released by the local Lib Dems show that there will still be a shortfall of £7 million in the Care Budget after the extra sum that could be raised by a 1% increase in council tax is taken into account. Last year the gap left by the Tories was £5 million – in 2017 the gap will increase to £7 million.
Cllr Ron Tindall said: “If council tax was a fair tax, relying on it to plug the gap might be acceptable. But it is not. A millionaire can end up paying the same amount as a care worker or a nurse 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 Hertfordshire, the needs of the extremely poor will be paid for by other poor people if council tax is the only route for dealing with this problem. And the amount raised will vary dramatically across the country. The 2 per cent increase last year brought in about £360 million nationally and still leaves a predicted gap of £2.7 billion by 2020. We need root and branch reform of how our social care system is funded and I am pleased to see that the Liberal Democrats are calling for politicians to put aside their differences and do just that.”
Note to editors: Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Norman Lamb MP, has called for cross party agreement on how our health and care system is funded and has set up a commission to report back on long term solutions.
Should the county opt to increase counciI tax, in addition to the remaining shortfall of £7 million, Hertfordshire also faces a further loss of £8.5 million in its Care Budget with the decision of the Herts Valleys CCG to withdraw support for measures to ease bed-blocking. To date, there has been no sign of local MPs making any protest to government on this disastrous decision.