Council bosses give go-ahead to 3.95% council tax rise

Council tax is set to rise again in South Tyneside from April.

Thursday, 28th February 2019, 18:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th February 2019, 18:27 pm

Council chiefs rubber stamped spending plans to increase bills by 3.95% at a of South Tyneside Council.

The rise is made up of a 2.95% increase to core council tax and a further 1% adult social care levy.

The decision came as the council seeks to slash nearly £12million from its budget next year due to increased pressure on services – including demands around adult social care and supporting vulnerable children.

Lead member for innovation and resources, Coun Ed Malcolm, confirmed the rise would bring in £60.5million for the authority.

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He said: “97% of councils plan to increase council tax in 2019/20 and 75% of those by more than 2.5%.

“It’s never an easy decision to raise council tax. We know that many in our communities are struggling to make ends meet but financial cuts and government complacency has left us with no option.”

For a band A household – which makes up around 60% of all properties in South Tyneside – families would pay £1,044.75 before precepts for police and fire services are added on.

This includes £54.89 to the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority and £89.55 to the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner.

Under the changes, band D properties, will also see an extra £1.65 a week added to their bills, or £85.94 a year.

Research by the Institute of Fiscal Studies has confirmed that South Tyneside is the third hardest hit council financially in the country for funding reductions with a 60% reduction in core government grants.

In the next five years, council leaders estimate they will face budget pressures of an extra £44million.

Council leader Iain Malcolm added: “There is coming a point, a breaking point where local government is not going to be able to honour and to implement its statutory requirements from central government.

“Something will eventually have to give.”

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service