Dudley Council Proposes Five Percent Council Tax Increase

Dudley Council’s Labour leaders are planning to increase council tax payments for the new financial year, following a 3.99% rise last November.

The news has sparked anger among Dudley’s opposition leaders, with UKIP group leader, councillor Paul Brothwood, calling it 'unbelievable and unpalatable'.

But council chiefs insist that borough residents will continue to pay the lowest rate in the region and one of the lowest in the country. The move is part of proposals to save £26million from the authority over the next three years.

New proposals mean a 3% rise in council tax, which will go directly to adult social care services, and a further 1.99% for general fund as originally planned.

Council leaders today outlined the vital importance of funding for the elderly, disabled and other people in most need across the borough. Councillor David Sparks, cabinet member for finance, said:

“Any proposed increases in council tax are never taken lightly, but we continue to find ourselves in unprecedented times of financial pressure as a result of reduced funding from national government.

“I should also stress that if this is approved we will still be the lowest council tax rate in the Black Country and one of the lowest in the country, which means people in this borough continue to get sound financial planning and continued services for people who need them most, despite the extreme financial pressures.”

Councillor Qadar Zada, cabinet member for adult social care, added:

“We have the option of increasing the adult social care precept from 2 to 3 percent, which we’re putting forward to help us protect as many of those important services as possible.

“We have recently transformed the way we deliver services for older and more vulnerable people as part of our modernisation plans, which have already released efficiency savings of £9.2million.

“This investment shows how we are working smarter with our reduced resources, concentrating on supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Council bosses have put forward savings of £19 million for 2017/18, moving up to £24 million by 2018/19 and £26 million by 2019/20. But the budget report forecasts there will still be a deficit of £7 million by 2019/20, if additional savings are not found. The proposals are currently out to consultation in the Big Question. People have until February 10 to have their say via the councils website at dudley.gov.uk.

The new council tax increase proposals are equivalent to £1.12 per week for a band D property and will raise an additional £5 million annual income.

In addition to this, the outcome of a recent consultation into possible changes to the council tax reduction scheme, a means tested reduction in council tax for certain residents on low incomes, will also see entitled households now paying at least 22 percent of the full council tax liability for their property, rather than the previous 20 percent, raising an additional £150,000 a year.

The savings are in response to the £76 million reduction in government funding since 2010 which is forecast to rise to more than £92 million over the next three years.


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