Cost of care -Let’s focus on what is best

Lincolnshire Independents have been working locally and nationally for better funding for Lincolnshire.

The Conservative government has responded by hitting our rural counties the hardest with big cuts.

One might wonder why a new Conservative Government dares take its rural voters for granted.

The amount of our income tax that gets returned to local councils has reduced dramatically over the past four years, by 40 per cent in fact.

We have now been given leave to raise council tax by four per cent every year, making an eye-watering 17 per cent over the next four years.

This government may have promised not to raise taxes, but it said nothing about forcing councils to do it instead.

The catch, however, is that it will still not be enough. Council tax is much smaller than income tax. Tax based on income is also fairer.

The Conservative Government approach includes further service cuts and increased charges wherever possible.

For example, in Lincolnshire, an extra £900,000 is to be charged for adult care every year.

Effectively, if you have more than £23,500, you will need to pay for care in your own home.

You will also need to pay an arrangement fee if you ask the council to organise it for you.

Let’s not forget that the point of local council services is to collect funds by the fairest means possible and spend it cost-effectively for the good of the whole.

Reducing support too far does not mean we keep the money in our own pockets. We still pay, but ad hoc, individually and taking the risk on ourselves.

If people don’t take the care because it has become too costly, there is a greater risk of admissions to our hospitals, which are already struggling.

Extremes based on political mantra in both Labour and Conservative parties are not helpful.

We need to look at the facts and focus on what will best benefit our residents.

Councillor Marianne Overton MBE

Independent Councillor on Lincolnshire County Council and North Kesteven District Council; leader of the Lincolnshire Independents and vice-chairman of the Local Government Association