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Council Tax adult social care precept explained

The government has allowed councils which provide social care to adults to increase their share of Council Tax. This additional Council Tax charge is called the adult social care precept.

This started in 2016/17 and it is a government requirement that this precept is shown as a separate line on the bill with an amount that is the total for this additional precept over the two years, rather than the total spend on adult social care. The 2% increase shown on the bill is an increase on the whole Kent County Council (KCC) amount which results in a total KCC increase of 4.99% (or 5.0% when rounded to one decimal place).

The percentage increase is calculated by the total for Kent County Council and the adult social care precept. 

  • in 2019/20 the total precept is £1,299.42 (£1,206.72 plus £92.70)
  • in 2018/19 the total is £1,237.68 (£1,169.64 + £68.04)
  • in 2017/18 the total is £1,178.82 (£1,134.36 + £44.46)
  • in 2016/17 the total precept was £1,133.55 (£1,111.77 + £21.78).

The income generated from this charge is ring-fenced, meaning it can only be used for adult social care services. Kent County Council is the authority which provides adult social care services, and we collect this charge on their behalf.

More about adult social care (KCC website)

Statement concerning adult social care funding

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax for financial years from the financial year beginning in 2016 without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care. Subject to the annual approval of the House of Commons, the Secretary of State intends to offer the option of charging this “precept” at an appropriate level in each financial year up to and including the financial year 2019-20.

This means that Kent County Council (KCC) can, from 2016/17, increase their precept by up to 2% plus an additional 2% which is to be used only for social care. KCC also have the flexibility from 2017/18 to raise more of the social care Council Tax levy, providing it does not exceed 6% over the three year period 2017/18 to 2019/20, nor 3% in any one year.  KCC have chosen to raise 2% extra for social care in addition to their 1.99% increase for 2017/18.  Similarly, KCC increased their precept by an additional 2% ring-fenced for social care within their 4.0% increase for 2016/17.  


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