Essex County Council has backed a motion to divert funds from the proposed retention of business rates to help fund social care.
Social Care costs account for 60p of every £1 of the Council’s budget, with demand increasing as the population of the County ages.
Today (Tuesday 12 December) the Council agreed a motion that when 100% of business rates are retained by councils, expected in 2020/21, the anticipated national surplus of £6.25 billion should be ring-fenced to social care, with Essex County Council receiving its share.
Cllr Louise McKinlay, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “With the phasing out of the revenue support grant, Essex County Council welcomes the Government’s plans to introduce programmes for the retention of business rates.
"Essex is a supporter of the benefits of devolved approaches to finance and the move to make Local Authorities more independent and our motion supports this while at the same time, tackling the largest single pressure on our finances.
“The 100% Business Rate Retention scheme, due to come in in 2020/21 will provide additional financial support to local government and create a dividend of £6.25 billion.
“This money is currently unallocated, so today we have called upon the Government to use this pot of money to meet funding of pressures in social care. We are keen to work with the Government to ensure the final arrangements work both nationally and for the benefit of Essex residents.”