Friday, 6 February 2015

Council Tax increase of 1.99% would raise £1.4m over two years and add £21 to Band D residences

The debate on a possible Council Tax rise of 1.99% may be helped by the following figures I have obtained from Brent Council:
A council tax increase of 1.99% would provide £1.7m (gross) and £0.7m (minus the freeze grant) in each year. 

Therefore the council's ongoing resources would be £1.4m higher after two years of council tax increases. This assumes the freeze grant would continue to be added as permanent funding by the government in subsequent years (which is the current arrangement).

A 1.99% increase would be equal to a £21 increase for Band D residents.
Readers can see the full range of proposed cuts HERE but it may be useful to see the value of a few key cuts in relation to that £700k achieved each year from a Council Tax increase:

Adult Home Care: The proposals are to cut home visit times from 30 minutes to 15 minutes saving £600k

Stonebridge Adventure Playgroun : Proposed ceasing funding to save £118k

Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre: Closure to save £13k

Energy Solutions: Cease grant to save £50k

Closure of Leisure Centre:  saving £400k

Reduction in Street Cleansing (inc no litter clearance in Zone 5 residential roads): saving £400k




13 comments:

  1. These figures are astonishing. £1.4 million may sound like very little in the face of £54 million being cut but when you set out the figures and see what £21 per year per household could save in terms of services this seems like an absolute no brainer.

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  2. Remember that a total £60m of cuts have been tabled in the documentation to be implemented over two years, so there is a margin of £6m anyway. This will enable the Cabinet to argue that they have 'listened' to the public over some of the more obviously unpalatable cuts, allowing the rest to go through without too much fuss - although with devastating long-term impact.

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  3. This increase is equvilant to £1.71 a month for most households. Many people in Brent are struggling already, and although it might sound like a tiny increase to some of us (personally I'd be prepared to pay it) it might mean the difference of a hot meal one night a month for others.

    I would favour an increase if, and only if, some of the £1.4 million raised was put towards the Council Tax Support scheme which helps those who are already struggling to pay. Don't forget that there are thousands of people who, as a result of this government's "welfare reforms" now have to pay 20% of council tax where previously they were exempt.

    Raise Council Tax for those who can afford it in order to save some services, but please, please protect those who are already suffering under this government's callous policies.

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    1. wholeheartedly agree

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  4. Brent has known about the reduction in funding since 2010. They should have been raising council tax by 1.99% for the past 4 years. Compounded this makes the difference.

    Start raising now, every £ counts, preserve the services that can be saved.

    Brent bin tax and landlord tax are all half arsed efforts to raise revenue.

    Pull the big revenue lever

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    1. Pickles is said to be reducing the 1.99% max increase without referendum to 1% next year, so it's essential Brent acts now while they can.

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    2. Looking at the state of Pickles, he ain't going to be here next year.

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  5. Unfortunately a 2% council tax rise doesn't mean a 2% rise in funding. Most of local government funding still comes through central government grant, and most of any council tax increase is clawed back from that (so a £1.7million increase in tax from a 2% rise becomes a £0.7million increase in revenue). So while I wouldn't argue against a 2% council tax increase (or to be very much more precise 1.99%, because 2% would require a local referendum) raising £0.7million, it really is a drop in the ocean compared with the £54million cuts Brent Council is proposing to implement. You really do have to ask how they find meaning in their existence if their only role is to implement the Tory cuts and weep crocodile tears over them.

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    1. Agree entirely. These are extreme circumstances. It can't be beyond the wit of the left councils to formulate a strategy of resistance (assuming of course that they really want to resist).

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    2. Indeed. It is thoroughly depressing that the suggested "rebellion" in the Labour Group involves charging residents more money for fewer services, rather than outright opposition to the entire package of cuts.

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  6. They dont utilise the resources they do have effectively. They would pee this money up the wall in no time.

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  7. Yep it will only end up in their cronies pocket, didn't they just hire one of their cronies with a very fat salary, all in the name of cost cutting, they couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery.

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  8. The worst thing to have happened to Brent Council is Mohamed Butt

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