Letters December 11: Unfair burdens on local councils but money for bombs

From: Christine Melsom, Hazlemere, Surrey.

IS it fair that only council taxpayers have to pay for the cost of failure on social care funding, and can they afford to?

Last month saw a disappointing return to the bad old days of council tax rises caused by central Government policy. George Osborne has decided that council tax payers only must bear the additional cost of social care funding. Local authorities responsible for adult social care will be allowed to increase council tax by two per cent above existing limits (in addition to the 1.9 per cent increase that can currently be imposed).

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By adding in the maximum new levies allowable without a referendum, the LGA estimated that band D bills could cost an average of just under £200 more over the next five years.

The provision of social care should be a local decision and the funding should be from general taxation passed on to local authorities via the grant system.

The ability for local authorities to make this provision has been severely restricted and cut back in recent years due to this Government’s economic austerity measures.

How often have we heard this Chancellor say that everyone should pay their fair share of tax? Is it fair that only council tax payers should pay for the additional costs of social care, when this is a public service available to all (subject to qualifying criteria)?

How will we know that this additional government initiated increase has been spent wholly and exclusively on the provision of social care?

From: Brian Ormondroyd, Birchwood Court, Ilkley.

NOW our libraries are threatened with cuts or even possible closure. See what has happened in nearby Craven. Plenty of cash for bombs but not books. We have already lost our museum.

In Ilkley, that depends on tourism, the tourist information centre under threat. Trident weapons rather than tourism. Bin collection services are under threat. Essential workers to face the axe and thrown on to benefits. Insane. Police services cut nationwide.

This at a time when there are ever more threats to our community.

Roads falling apart. Parking...One could go on. Our elected representatives must work with the folk of our town, our community, to address our very real concerns.

How about a petition to call for cash and against cuts? That for a start.