Local Government and Social Care Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:16 pm on 24th April 2019.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 2:16 pm, 24th April 2019

I totally agree with my hon. Friend. Joint working has been done on delayed discharges of care. It is about ensuring that there is good practice and sharing that more broadly. We are doing that equally in children’s social care, where the Department for Education is providing funding to ensure that that is better adopted. It is about good practice and looking at the outcomes. The simple binary approach that the Opposition take is, I think, mistaken.

Another issue on which the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish was fulsome was that of council tax. I want to remind Labour Members that it was the Labour Government who made ordinary families pay the price for their failures, with band D council tax more than doubling under Labour and families paying an extra £750. Even now, Labour wants to abolish the council tax referendum limit, which prevents excessive rises in council tax. It is all very well for the hon. Gentleman to suggest that he is on the side of ordinary hard-working families, but that is not what we saw from Labour in government and it is not what we are seeing now. The real price of Labour is that it always costs you more. This is not just about the cost of a Labour Government; it is also about what people are paying now. Households in Labour-controlled areas have to pay higher council tax to make up for incompetent collection. In the worst-hit areas, Labour councils have unpaid council tax bills of up to £100 million, which is the equivalent of £439 for every household. The 10 councils with the worst collection rates in England are all Labour-run.