South Tyneside families face council tax rise after leaders approve 3.95% hike

Coun Ed Malcolm.
Coun Ed Malcolm.

Residents in South Tyneside are one step closer to receiving a bigger council tax bill this year.

South Tyneside Council’s decision making cabinet has given the green light for council tax to be increased by 3.95%.

The rise is 1.95% and an additional 2% levy to cover adult social care costs.

This means homes in lowest Band A will be paying an extra £34.67 a year to help the cash-strapped council balance it’s books.

The decision was made at Jarrow Town Hall yesterday and will now be put before full council on February 25.

In 2015/16 South Tyneside Council had a net revenue budget of £136m. For 2016/17 the net revenue budget is £131m.

Coun Ed Malcolm, lead member for resources and innovation, said: “We’ve managed to balance the budget this year, but it has been our most difficult year to date and it will only get more difficult in years to come.

“We’ve had a 7% cut to local spending power and we need to save a further £14 million. This is on top of the £126 million we have had to save in recent years.

“This is all down the Government which has an obsession with cuts.”

He added: “The Government says it is giving councils greater freedom but all they’re doing is giving us the freedom to make harsh cuts.”

Instead of providing additions grants, the Government has permitted 2% of any increase in council tax bills to be ring-fenced to help meet rising adult social care costs.

The council is unable to increase council tax higher than 2% without holding a referendum.