Milton Keynes Labour led Council is consulting on increasing the Council Tax by an extra 3% per year for the next two years. (1)
Milton Keynes Council, faces severe budget problems as it tries to protect services for older people and the disabled from Government under funding and has very limited ways of addressing these challenges. It faces extra costs of £20 million over the next two years. The Council plans to find the ‘Missing millions’ by generating £5 million of extra income, plus making budget cuts of £3 million. This will still leave it having to find £12 million to meet the needs of the most vulnerable residents of Milton Keynes. If the Council Tax then raises Council Tax by 3% a year just for adult social Care then the challenge still remains to find £6 million to fund the service.
Cllr Pete Marland said, “As a result of Government under funding coupled to growing demand we face, like other Councils, a £6 million hole in our social care budget even after putting the Council Tax up by 3% per year just for Adult Social Care.”
Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Housing added, “There is growing demand from an ageing population and growing numbers of disabled people with complex needs. Whilst I support the 3% rise in Council Tax, it does not provide a long term solution. We need fair funding We need a Government to find the missing millions. If they can find big tax cuts for the rich and big business surely they can fund the care needs of older and disabled people?”
The Council will consult residents on the 3% extra for social care and is looking to spend the money on key areas of pressure such as dementia services, helping people return home from hospital and more investment in helping people stay safe and independent in their own homes.
Cllr Pete Marland concluded, “I plan consult widely on the proposed 3% rise in Council Tax. I will listen to residents as the Government is asking them to fund the extra spending. However, I want Government to come clean on care funding and provide a long term solution. We aim to protect older and disabled residents. It’s a pity the Government is only playing politics with their lives.”
(1) The above plan would mean be a Council Tax increase of 4.95% for the next two years.