HANDING back business rates could save cash-strapped Warwickshire County Council more than £18million.
Currently there is some £260million in surplus business rates across the country, with £18million coming from Warwickshire businesses.
Public sector union Unison say the money could instead be spent on social care and would remove the need for local authorities to raise council tax by two per cent – saving taxpayers £4.7million.
Unison regional secretary Ravi Subramanian said: “The social care system is in dire straits. There’s simply not enough money to fund the care that’s needed.
“The losers are the thousands of dedicated homecare workers, who work long hours, and whose already low wages are dragged below the legal minimum because of the non-payment of travel time.
“Those suffering the most are the elderly and the disabled, who rely on daily visits so they can stay in their own homes. Visits are often too short to administer the care needed, or care packages simply aren’t available. Then people have to stay in hospital far longer than is good for them, in beds that are desperately needed for other patients.
“Investing the £259m in social care would be money extremely well spent. Not only would it mean better care for the elderly, it would ease the pressure on homecare staff, and free up beds in the NHS.”
Unison has written to Chancellor of the Exhequer Philip Hammond to urge him to consider where the money goes.