Yorkshire MPs claim council tax rise will not solve care crisis

Rosie Winterton
Rosie Winterton
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RAISING council taxes to fill funding gaps in care for the elderly will disadvantage the poorest parts of Yorkshire, MPs have claimed.

Yorkshire Labour MPs complained local authorities in the region would raise much less through council tax increases than wealthier areas.

The Government is reported to be considering lifting the current cap on council tax rises in response to local authority complaints they are struggling to meet the costs of caring for the elderly.

Doncaster Central MP Dame Rosie Winterton said: “A one per cent rise in council tax in Doncaster raises 21 per cent less than a council in the Prime Minister’s constituency.

“Surely that means that the problem is being pushed onto the areas that can least afford it.”

The concern was echoed by Hull North MP Diana Johnson who claimed the city’s council would only be able to raise half the amount those in more affluent areas would secure from a council tax rise.

The Government has yet to make a formal announcement of its plans but ministers insisted its Better Care Fund supported councils in poorer areas.

Chancellor Philip Hammond denied Theresa May blocked him from announcing new funds for social care in last month’s Autumn Statement.

He said: “We are absolutely aware of the cacophony of input from local authorities and health trusts around the situation in the social care area.

“It is an important area and we will continue to discuss it and continue to look at the representations we are receiving.”

Downing Street insisted that some of the problems were caused by poor management of adult social care by councils rather than funding.