For the sake of all the older, frail and vulnerable people who live in Yorkshire, it is to be hoped that local authorities will take the opportunity to raise council tax by the newly-allowed 2 per cent to aid social care.
Nobody wants council tax bills to rise, particularly here in the north of England which has suffered badly during the economic crisis.
But in its spending review this week, the government deftly avoided putting any fresh money into care provided in care homes, day care centres and in people’s own homes. Instead it gave councils the option to add 2 per cent to council tax bills to raise money locally.
Even if all councils take up the option this is unlikely to raise enough money to avert an impending crisis in social care.
But while this isn’t ideal, and is in no way a permanent solution, it is all we have and for the sake of vulnerable people in their care we have to hope local councils do respond.
It is time for the Government to merge NHS and social care into one body once and for all, so that social care gets equal status and its proper share of funding and the country gets joined up thinking on vital healthcare services for everyone.
Independent Care Group (York and North Yorkshire)Eastway, Eastfield