Middlesbrough Council continues to consult on proposals around the Council’s Strategic Priorities, and budget savings totalling £5.8million – published in December – which included Council Tax increases of 1.99% each year.
In December the Government announced that councils could increase this amount by a further 1%.
This is now being considered in light of an increased National Pay Award offer, resulting in £2.1million of extra costs for Middlesbrough over the next two years and ongoing funding pressures for areas such as children’s services and adult social care.
In addition to this, the increase in Adult Social Care Precept would remain at 2% for the next two years, also in line with the Local Government Finance Settlement, making a total increase of 4.99%.
Councillor Nicky Walker, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Finance and Governance, said the latest local government finance settlement had been described as ‘woefully inadequate’ by national Social Services chiefs who predict it will result in a £5.8 billion shortfall by 2020.
She said: “Unfortunately this rise appears unavoidable if we are to deliver the services people need, while continuing to transform Middlesbrough as a focal point of regeneration and ambition.
“While Middlesbrough and other Councils have actively called for an improved national pay award offer for staff, after years of a public sector pay freeze, like many other Councils we do not have the resources to meet it and also lobbied the Government to meet this cost.
“Sadly, once again this is a directive from the Conservative Government whereby financial burden falls entirely on local Council Tax payers.
“The people of Middlesbrough continue to pay their taxes to central government and I find it disgraceful that they are once again seeking to put a further burden on local taxpayers as well.
“The Government is committed to removing funding from local government, with a further £3.6million slashed in Middlesbrough in 2018/19.
“No additional funding has been made available to us, beyond the ability to raise the funds through a further Council Tax increase.”
- The Council Tax base for 2018-19 and the Medium Term Financial Plan will be considered at a special meeting of Middlesbrough Council’s Executive on Thursday, January 11.
The level of the Council Tax for 2018/19 will be set by full Council on 7 March 7 as part of the Elected Mayor’s 2018/19 Budget following consideration at Executive on February 20.
To take part in Middlesbrough Council’s strategic priorities and budget consultation, visit www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/budget