Plans for a record £300million spend on caring for the elderly, people with disabilities and vulnerable children have been approved by Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet.
The proposed spending on care and plans to deliver a balanced budget for 2017-18 will now be presented to Full Council on February 16 for final approval.
To help towards the increasing costs of social care, the proposals will see the county council tax rise by 4.95 percent from April, which includes the Government’s 3 percent ring-fenced increase for care. Bills for a Band D property would increase by just over £1 a week.
Ian Parry, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member responsible for finances, said:
“This budget, while undoubtedly the most challenging we have seen to date, will help us build on our track record of growing our economy and at the same time also see us, at a record £300m, spending even more on adults and children’s social care next year.
“With a growing ageing population to support, we all now need to look at doing a little more for ourselves where we can, while also paying a little more to help those who now need our help the most.”
Over the last seven years the council has already reduced its own running costs by around £200m and further reduced in-house costs to help tackle a funding shortfall and deliver a balanced budget.
“We are working hard to bring investment into the county, create new jobs and opportunities and help Staffordshire families lead more prosperous, rewarding, healthier, happier and independent lives, which should help reduce some of the pressures on the services the council provides. This is the right thing to do.
“This year as well as reducing our costs, we have had to take very difficult decisions in order to bridge a significant shortfall in our budget and meet our legal duty to balance the books.”