Birmingham’s Council Tax below inflation

By on 10/02/2010 in News

A below-inflation Council Tax increase of 1.9 per cent has been proposed for 2010/11, city council leader Mike Whitby announced today.

Financial Plan 2010+ – http://tinyurl.com/yhcfu68

Full range of papers related to Cabinet report covering the Council Plan and Budget

If approved at Council on February 23, it will be the fifth year running that a 1.9 per cent increase has been set - once again below the rate of inflation and this year the figure is a full one per cent below the latest Consumer Prices Index.

Thanks to the Council's financial stability since 2004, even prior to this year our Council Tax was a full £98 less than it would have been had it increased in line with the national average.

The budget provides an extra £67.5million for key priorities and to manage existing financial pressures. Adult social care and services for looked after children and homeless people are set to benefit along with extra investment for recycling and waste management.

Councillor Whitby said: “Despite the extremely challenging economic climate, we have been able to deliver a fair and reasonable budget that underlines our commitment to easing the tax burden on all households, and in particular supports those who are on fixed-incomes or collecting a pension.

“In real terms, people will once again actually be required to pay less in the forthcoming year as we have successfully kept our proposed increase at just 1.9 per cent, which is comfortably below the rate of inflation. To deliver this small increase five years in a row is a great achievement, and to do it in the current climate as well is remarkable.

“We are well aware that all the forecasts indicate the next few years will be tough for local government financially - but we still need to rise to people's expectations. Quite simply we have to do more for less. In our budget we have, therefore, planned strategically and propose budgets that address the key priority areas that we have laid out in our Council Plan.

“Birmingham is demonstrating how frontline services and significant regeneration schemes can be delivered without punishing taxpayers. I am proud that we are able to do this.”

Deputy Council Leader Paul Tilsley added: “It is always extremely challenging to set a budget, and the last few years have been very difficult given the tough times we face - however we have again been able to produce something that is consistent with our pledge to keep taxation at a manageable level for residents, who themselves are feeling the effects of the economic conditions.

“We have already begun planning for next year as we know public finances will continue to be tight and because we are determined to ensure that we provide the best value for money to taxpayers that we possibly can.”

Since the Progressive Partnership came to power in 2004 there has been an additional £248million of investment identified for key priorities and the management of pressures, including significant investment of £134million in the social care of children and adults.

Supporting the extra investment made by the Council, by the end of 2010/11 the Progressive Partnership will have made savings of around £181million.

ENDS

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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