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Adult Social Care Precept

Each year, the County Council sets its precept, which is the amount of money it requires to be raised via Council Tax. An increase in the precept is presented as a percentage.

The secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax for financial years from the financial year beginning in 2016 without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care. Subject to the annual approval of the House of Commons, the Secretary of State intends to offer the option of charging this “precept” at an appropriate level in each financial year up to and including the financial year 2019-20.

This offer allowed councils to increase their Council Tax by an additional 2% without a referendum, and Cambridgeshire County Council elected to make use of this offer in 2017-18. This meant that the 2% increase in your Council Tax bill raised money that was ringfenced to spend on Adult Social Care.

Cambridgeshire County Council has decided to make use of this option again for 2018-19 which accounts for 2% of the 4.99% increase in the County Council’s element of Council Tax bills.

How is the increase calculated?

The Adult Social Care Precept is calculated in the same way as an increase on general (unringfenced) Council Tax i.e. the percentage change multiplied by the total Council Tax amount for the previous year.

The total Council Tax amount for the County Council is made up of two parts:

1)      General (unringfenced) Council Tax - this can be spent on any of the services provided by the County Council

2)      Adult Social Care - this can only be spent on Adult Social Care services

Both parts of the total Council Tax are collected by the County Council and are used to deliver services across Cambridgeshire.

Example – Band D property

Council Tax

2017-18 Amount

2% increase via the Adult Social Care Precept

2.99% increase in General (unringfenced) Council Tax

2018-19 Amount

  

£

£

£

£

Total Band D

1,190.43

                   23.81

                 35.59

1,249.83

of which Adult Social Care

         46.17

                   23.81

-

         69.98

of which General (unringfenced)

1,144.26

-

                 35.59

1,179.85

 As the County Council applied the Adult Social Care precept the previous 2 years, the total amount shown in 2018-19 against Adult Social Care is the 2017-18 element plus the 2018-19 element. For a Band D property, as shown above, this is £46.17 + £23.81 = £69.98.

How is this shown on the Council Tax bill?

The presentation of your Council Tax bill will depend on which district you live in, but the general principles remain the same.

The regulations on presentation of Council Tax bills states that the amount of the total Council Tax amount that is ringfenced to spend on Adult Social Care services must be shown separately. This does not mean, however, that it becomes a separate element. It remains part of the total Council Tax levied by the County Council.

The regulations also state that the percentage change must be presented.

The total percentage change for the County Council is made up of two parts:

1)      The percentage change for raising money that can be spent on any County Council services (i.e unringfenced)

2)      The percentage change for raising money that can only be spend on Adult Social Care services (i.e. ringfenced)

The percentage change that is shown on the Adult Social Care line indicates that the increase in money collected must be spent on Adult Social Care services. It does not just relate to the percentage change in the Adult Social Care Precept portion of the County Council element of your Council Tax. 

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