THE councillor responsible for the care portfolio has outlined what the proposed council tax rise will be spent on and why residents in the county pay more tax than those in Westminster.

Tomorrow Herefordshire Council will discuss the proposed council tax rise of 4.9 percent, two percent of which will be ringfenced for adult social care.

Cllr Paul Rone, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "People have asked me, 'What do you mean - adult social care? Is it just my nan being in an old folks' home? That is principally it. However, social care is for everybody. Youngsters, those of working age who have got learning disabilities, and old folks' homes. They are members of society that have to be looked after."

There are 3,500 people in the council's care system in Herefordshire, both adults and children, which means 75 percent of the council's net expenditure is used on care.

In 2015/16, the council’s net expenditure was a little over £142million. Of this, 41 per cent was spent within the area of adults and wellbeing. Cllr Rone said: "I live in a Band D property - a three-bed semi-detached house in Redhill. I pay £151 a month in council tax. If I didn't have to pay money towards care in Hereford, if I didn't have to pay for people to be in care homes, for children's services, and for the working aged population to be looked after, it would be £36 a month."

But he said: "We wouldn't have it any other way."

He said when he started as a councillor in 2010, 80 percent of what the council spent came from central government but from 2020 there will be no government funding, besides a bit of rural sparsity money.

Cllr Rone added: "That is why some of these services have been cut so badly. It is not something we do by choice. We cut them by compulsion."

A lot of care is privately funded by individuals who can afford to.

He added: "What we are talking about are those in a comfortable position - normal, every day working people who are in need of care. We don't compare between the two."

Cllr Rone said a national conversation needs to be started about whether social care should be paid for locally. He said council tax payers are paying less council tax in Westminster than in Hereford as there are not many people in Westminster who need local authority care as they are all self payers.

He said: "There is no adult social care precept that has to be added on."

In Herefordshire there are 44,800 (24 percent) aged 65 and over, which is expected to rise to 60,500 by 2031, while 6,000 residents (three percent) are aged 85 or older, which is expected to rise to 10,800 by 2031.