Chancellor allows an extra two per cent tax for councils if it is spent on social care

Council tax bills for North Devon households could see a two per cent increase after the Chancellor gave the green light for councils to collect more money to pay for social care.

In the autumn statement today (Wednesday) George Osborne said councils would be allowed to add the extra two per cent as long as it was spent on adult social care, adding up to £2billion nationally.

He also said he expects the NHS to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings in England and the Department of Health has agreed a 25% cut from its Whitehall budget.

He faced criticism yesterday for offering an immediate £3.8 billion cash injection for the NHS while planning cuts in other areas, including public health.

Last year to save money Devon County Council moved to close 20 homes, including Oakwell in Barnstaple, Beech House in South Molton and Burrow House in Ilfracombe, as well as local day centres.