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News Report Page 5 of 35
Publication Date:- 2018-10-03
News reports located on this page = 1.

Council Tax increase to protect Social Care

LIVERPOOL City Council is set to spend the majority of this year's increase in Council Tax on services for the most vulnerable. The City Council is ring fencing a total of 4% of the proposed 5.99% rise to fund increases in spending on adult and children's services to deal with growing demand.

Overall, an additional ₤6 million is being found for children's services, which will also help fund the recruitment of more social workers to deal with increasingly complex cases of young people coming in to care.

In adult services it will to help deal with growing demographic pressures as more people need support to live in safety and comfort at home.

However when the 1% cost of implementing the proposed Local Government pay settlement for staff is taken into account, it means only 0.99% of the rise is left to cover the cost of delivering other services; far lower than the 3% rate of inflation.

The Council Tax rise equates to an additional ₤1.34 per week for Band A households, which make up almost 60% of the properties in Liverpool.

The funding will help offset ₤90.3 million of savings needed between 2017 and 2020 due to cuts in Central Government funding.

By 2020 the Council will have faced cuts of ₤444 million since 2010 which, when adjusted for inflation, is a cut of 64% of the Council's overall budget over the last decade.

Despite the cuts, the Council is also committed to funding schemes to help people living in crisis (2016/17 figures):-

►  ₤12 million on services for people who find themselves homeless.

► ₤3.5 million shielding 42,000 people from the full impact of Government reductions in Council Tax support.

► ₤2.7 million on almost 13,000 crisis payments to help people with the cost of food, fuel, clothing and furniture.

► ₤2.2 million on 8,300 Discretionary Housing Payments to people affected by welfare reform and hardship.

► A ₤2 million Hardship Fund from 2017 to 2020 to help residents who are struggling.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "I wish we didn't have to raise Council Tax, but we have no choice if we are to stand any chance of protecting the most vulnerable residents in our City, to offset the cuts in our grant from Central Government.  The fact is that our total income from Council Tax doesn't even cover the cost of our spend on adult Social Care and with rising demand as more people live for longer we are struggling to keep up. We are also battling a growing crisis in children's Social Care as more families find themselves on the edge due to welfare reform. Big Cities like Liverpool which have the greatest needs have been clobbered again and again by Government since 2010 and we urgently need a fundamental review of the way in which Local Government is funded. Inflation far outweighs the amount we have left over for non statutory services, which means we are forced to make cuts year after year. By 2020 we will have lost almost two thirds of the budget that we had back in 2010 and this has had a huge impact on our ability to deliver services. We have 3,000 fewer staff, have transferred some buildings and services across to other organisations and have stopped doing some things that were previously part of our work.  The perverseness of the way in which the Government has cut our budget is laid bare when you realise that if we'd had the average cut that other Local Authorities have faced from 2010 to 2020 then we'd be ₤71.5 million better off, which would mean we could've stopped making cuts in 2017.  We know from a previous budget consultation that residents want us to do all we can to protect Adults and Children's Social Care Services, so we are abiding by their wishes by reducing the impact on these parts of Council spending, as well as protecting people living in crisis. But at the same time we have a have a duty to go on delivering major schemes that will bring major economic benefits, such as investment in roads and big regeneration projects like the Cruise Liner Terminal, Ten Streets and Paddington Village which will bring more much needed businesses and jobs to the City.  We will be largely dependent on income from business rates and Council Tax from 2020, so it is vital that we do all we can to attract employers and help create jobs."

The Council's Invest to Earn strategy is helping offset the impact of the cuts with projects including the lease arrangement on Finch Farm, renting out of space in the Cunard Building and other entrepreneurial deals generating around ₤3 million per year.

The expansion of house building in the City is also helping; the number of Band D properties is 347 more than forecast, generating an extra ₤525k per year of Council Tax income.

The Council has recently refinanced the PFI deal on Central Library, generating a 1 off saving of ₤1 million which will be reinvested in the libraries service to largely offset a budget cut of ₤1.3 million.

Reducing the opening hours of the Liverpool Direct contact centre will save ₤1.5 million.

NEW Council Tax BANDS
Band Council Police Fire Total
A 1,068.11 118.65 51.04 1,237.80
B 1,246.12 138.42 59.55 1,444.09
C 1,424.15 158.20 68.05  1,650.40
D 1,602.16 177.97 76.56 1,856.69
E 1,958.20 217.52 93.57 2,269.29
F 2,314.23  257.07 110.59 2,681.89
G 2,670.27 296.62 127.60 3,094.49
H 3,204.32 355.94 153.12 3,713.38
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