Mayor warns of further social care cuts

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Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson. Pic by Jack Maguire

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson. Pic by Jack Maguire

Liverpool City Council has warned that local social care services will have to be “hollowed-out”, following the Government’s Autumn Statement.

The Government has said that local authorities will be given the ability to raise council taxes by 2% to specifically fund social care programmes. However Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson claims that this will have almost no effect at all, as the tax rise will only raise £2.6million, and £90million has already been cut from the services.

Mayor Anderson said: “Take adult social care where, by 2017, we will be spending £130 million compared to £222 million in 2010. The number of people receiving care packages will reduce from 15,000 to 9,000 over the next few years, badly hitting a service that is a lifeline and improves quality of life and independence.

“The Government’s much trumpeted announcement that we can raise council tax by 2% to pay for social care will make next to no difference, worth just £2.7 million a year to replace the £90m lost already.”

Council financial officers are still studying the details of the Government’s statement to discover what the full effect of the proposed cuts will be, but it is feared that a number of services could be lost altogether.

The Mayor stated: “Despite working hard to find innovative ways of keeping our libraries and children’s centres open, we cannot absorb such a scale of further cuts without it having a deep and lasting effect. But there is only so far we can stretch and the next wave will decimate us.”

Liverpool Council currently only raises 10% of its annual budget through council taxes, relying primarily on Government grants to cover the costs of its services.

About Connor Lynch, JMU Journalism