There has been a cautious welcoming of the news of additional funding to help provide more care packages for vulnerable people and support for businesses affected by the revaluation of business rates.
As part of today’s budget the Chancellor announced that £2bn of additional funding would be made available to local authorities over the next three years to commission new care packages and provide greater support to the most vulnerable in society. £1bn of this money is due to be made available in 2017/2018. Based on previous allocations for Social Care funding this could provide an additional £10m for Cornwall
Responding to the budget announcement the Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, Adam Paynter, said “We are pleased to see that the Government has listened to our significant concerns which we have raised over the increasing pressures in social care and we will be looking to see how much of this additional funding will come to Cornwall.”
“However, whilst this additional funding is obviously welcome, it is only one-off funding covering the next three years and a longer term solution is required, one that doesn’t further burden the local taxpayer. The Council is continuing to face significant pressures on its budget, with further cuts in our funding from the Government on top of the millions of pounds of savings we have already been forced to make over the past four years.
Adam Paynter, Cornwall Cabinet member for resources
“We recognise that the Chancellor has said that the Government will set out its thinking on the options for the future financing of social care in a Green Paper later this year and we look forward to receiving the details of this as quickly as possible”.
The budget announcement also outlined additional support to help small businesses affected by the Business Rates revaluation, but again the Council is waiting to see the detail behind the headlines. An initial assessment suggests that up to 100 businesses in Cornwall could benefit from the proposal to cap an increase in bills at £50 a month, with around 500 pubs in Cornwall potentially receiving a £1,000 discount on their bills for 2017/18.
“We know that many small businesses have been very worried about the impact of the changes to business rates on their future viability and I am pleased that the Chancellor has listened to these concerns” said Adam Paynter. “However we know that the devil is in the detail and we will now be seeking clarity from the Government to ensure that rural areas see a fair share of this money”.
“We also welcome the additional £216m which has been announced for repairing schools buildings. This is potentially good news for Cornwall where we are facing a backlog of £90m to bring our schools up to standard.”