Today’s lazy political journalism story is brought to you by the BBC.
Over the weekend, Auntie reported that George Osborne was “to allow council tax [to] rise to plug care funding gap”.
The story suggested that the Chancellor, in his beneficent majesty, would graciously allow local authorities to raise council tax by a whopping 2% to help cover a funding shortfall in adult social care.
Councils and private providers of social care are already in a pretty big hole due to the cuts to council budgets over the past few years, and this is about to be exacerbated by the introduction of Osborne’s feted new minimum wage.
The thing is – councils already have the power to raise council tax by (as near as dammit) 2%. In order to raise it higher than that they have to put on a costly local referendum, thanks to Eric Pickles, but 1.99% is fine.
So the story here is just that the Chancellor is not going to impose any more central control on a major aspect of local government finance.
I’m sure that will solve everything.