Having considerable sector expertise in Local Government research, BMG polled the nation this month to understand whether there is support for local governments to introduce the Government’s proposed 2% precept for adult social care.
Respondents were asked the extent to which they would support or oppose their local council increasing council tax by 2% to fund social care. Over 1,500 members of the public took part in the survey and unsurprisingly the results are polarised. Approaching half (46%) suggest they would support this, whilst 40% oppose the precept and 14% don’t know. When looking deeper into the findings by age, older members of the public, aged 65+ are most likely to support the precept. Interestingly, although support for the precept generally increases by age, 44% of those aged 18-24 tended to support the precept compared with 31% of 24-34 year olds and 40% of 35-44 year olds.
In terms of household income, support for the precept increases as household income increases; significantly more of those earning more than £50,000 support the increase in council tax than those earning less than £24,999 (54% compared with 45%). Interestingly, 48% of White British respondents would support the precept compared with 36% of BME groups – perhaps reflecting the different community’s approaches to caring for older family members.
Given the difficult decisions facing councils regarding budgets the survey also explored whether people would accept a similar precept for other service areas. Approaching a fifth (17%) said they would accept a precept for child protection and safeguarding followed by refuse collection for domestic waste and recycling (13%), care and support for families e.g. Children’s Centres (12%), parks and open spaces (11%), and libraries (11%).
BMG also surveyed the public on the most important types of services offered by councils for their local area. As predicted, refuse collection and recycling came out on top with 51% of respondents suggesting this was important – also a popular area of discussion amongst the public when BMG has conducted wider consultations regarding council budgets. Care and support for older and disabled people came second (33%) and housing provision is considered the third most important (26%).
So which are the three least important? 41% of respondents suggest major public events such as firework nights are the least important followed by cultural facilities including cinemas and museums (18%). Garden waste and business waste collection (17%) are considered the third least important services offered by the council for their local area.
Full tables supporting these results will appear here soon.
For more information about this poll, or any other in our series, please contact either Elizabeth Davies, Research Director or Babita Aytain, Senior Research Executive.