Sajid Javid
Communities secretary Sajid Javid announced new care funding. Daniel Leal-Olivas/ Getty Images

The UK government have claimed an extra £900m will be available to plug the gap in social care funding over the next two years.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid announced that local authorities will have the power to increase council tax by up to 6% over the next two years, raising £658m. He also reallocated £240m from a home building scheme to form an "adult social care support grant" in 2017/18.

Councils had previously been given powers by George Osborne to increase taxes by 2% over the next three years to fund social care but they will now be able to accelerate these rises to 3% over the next two. The "adult social care support grant" will be financed by reforms to the "new homes bonus scheme" which obliges the government to match the revenue authorities raise from council tax on newly built homes.

Javid told the Commons the changes were essential in "recognition of the demographic changes of an ageing population as well as a growing population".

But many claim that the proposals do not go far enough. Responding to Javid, Shadow Minister Gareth Thomas said the measures were insufficient in the face of what he he dubbed a "social care crisis that the Minister still doesn't seem to grasp the severity of."

The Conservative chair of the Health Select Committee Sarah Wollaston agreed with Labour's criticism.

She said on Twitter: "I'm not convinced that local gov settlement is new money, it brings some of it forward but doesn't grasp seriousness of the shortfall. Rising unmet need for social care will not be resolved without genuine cross party working to find a long term solution to funding."

The Local Government Information Unit, a local government think tank, also responded critically to Javid's statement. Chief executive Jonathan Carr-West said: "In many ways, this settlement illustrates exactly what is wrong with our over centralised political system as the secretary of state shuffled funding from one silo to another. Council tax rises cannot be the answer to the crisis in adult social care funding as many of the councils with the most pressing care needs have the lowest council tax base."