KCC counts the cost of National Insurance rise

NATIONAL Insurance contribution increases could cost Kent County Council an extra £5 million a year, it is claimed.

KCC, the largest employer in the county, says the one per cent increase announced in the Budget could mean higher council tax bills.

Finance chiefs say the £5 million extra equates to a council tax rise of between one and two per cent, without taking into account any other reasons for possible increases next year.

It is also unclear the extent to which Kent and other social services authorities will benefit from the decision to plough more money into looking after the elderly, disabled and vulnerable children.

Although about £300 million more will be spent on looking after the disabled, elderly and others, councils could suffer financial penalties for causing bed blocking.

County council Conservative leader Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said: "One thing is certain and that is that local councils will face an extra bill of £300 million for the new National Insurance increase in the Budget. The extra bill for KCC will be in the region of £5 million."

Opposition Labour finance spokesman Cllr Derek Smyth said: "I think the public does appreciate that the NHS does require extra resources and that requires extra taxation. The county council will have to pay more in national insurance but it will get more for social services from the Government."

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