Increase to the adult social care precept
In December 2016, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid announced an increase to the social care precept.
First announced as part of the spending review in November 2015, the social care precept meant that local authorities with responsibility for social care could raise additional funding exclusively for adult social care by increasing council tax levels in their area.
When it was first introduced, local authorities had been able to increase taxes by up to 2% above the existing threshold for each year between 2016/17–2019/20. The new increase meant local authorities could now raise council taxes by up to 3% to fund adult social care in 2017/18–2018/19.
However, the overall limit of 6% above the ‘standard’ threshold by 2019/20 remained, so if a local authority made full use of the 3% precept increase over the next 2 years, they would not be able to use the precept in 2019/20.
Announcing the change, Javid stated that: 'The precept puts money-raising powers into the hands of local leaders, who best understand the needs of their community and are best placed to respond. In recognition of the immediate challenges faced in the care market, we will now allow local councils to raise this funding sooner if they wish.'
Ministry of Housing.
Dedicated adult social care funding forms key part of continued long-term funding certainty for councils [webpage].
Houses of Commons.
Local Government Finance Settlement: HC Deb 15 Dec 2016 vol 618 cc 976-994.
Phillips D., Smith NA., Johnson P.
How far do today's social care announcements address social care funding concerns? [webpage].
Institute for Fiscal Studies; 2016.