Kent County Council Leader Paul Carter has responded to today’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review.
He said: “As always the devil is in the detail. I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s better than we’ve been anticipating.
“Until we get the final settlement on December 17 we really don’t know what situation we’re in.
“We’ll be lobbying hard to get the treasury to understand the demand and pressures in social services and the consequence of the living wage on care providers.
“We understand the need to increase social care spending to accommodate both demand and the living wage but it’s up to us on whether we want to add a precept of up to 2% on council tax to support social care spending.
“We will have to think about that long and hard.
“Our concern was that if they carry on cutting the grant in the same order as they have in the last five years we would have to stop delivering services that are highly valued by the residents of Kent.
“It would also leave us with a minimalistic social care provision. That would have an impact on a timely discharge from hospital and getting people back to their homes, which in my view, would have been disastrous.
“We’ve been given an olive branch to retain those highly valued services and we’ve got to make sure we support the elderly and vulnerable in the best way possible.”