Revealed: How much council tax could rise by in Newham
PUBLISHED: 09:41 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:31 11 January 2019
Residents in Newham face paying hundreds of pounds a year more in council tax which is set for a record rise.
On Tuesday, the council’s budget working party meeting heard that bills would likely increase by 5.8per cent from April.
This would see residents in Band D properties pay an extra £72.62 per year, increasing their bill to £1339.39.
Residents in the top band will see a rise of £161.
The council itself plans to put bills up by 2.9pc plus 2pc for Adult Social Care Precept with the rest of the increase imposed by Sadiq Khan.
Cllr Terry Paul, lead member for finance, said: “We are looking at the impact it will have on households. We are looking at what we can do to minimise the impact on families.
“Look at the services we are trying to supply for residents. I don’t want to increase council tax but we are here because of government austerity. I’m forced to consider all options.”
He added that Newham is reworking its council tax reduction scheme, which will mean lower bills for the borough’s poorest residents.
“As you can see in the proposals there is a move to change the Council Tax Reduction Scheme from a minimum contribution of 20 per cent to one of 10 per cent,” he said.
“That will see a reduction of up to approximately £120 for some households depending on what their households income is.”
But some fellow Labour councillors branded the decision “disgraceful” and accused cllr Paul or not spending enough time working out the budget.
Ann Easter said: “Do you just make decisions and then worry later about the impact they will have on poor people? It is disgraceful. People could be cast into abject poverty because of these decisions.”
Cllr Mas Patel complained the committee had not seen any impact assessment reports, which would show how the rise could affect residents.
“Residents aren’t going to understand the GLA precepts and all that, they are just going to see bills going up,” said Cllr Ken Clarke.
“We haven’t had a rise like this is many, many years.”
Cllr Paul said: “The Equality Impact Assessment is always done at the where the budget proposals are presented. We looked at minimising the impact on families. Families that take an increase will also get a cut depending on their situation.
“The key thing is have we got a balanced budget and are we providing a level of services for our residents. Going forward what we have to do is to secure our income and look at the ways we make our residents lives better.
“We don’t just flippantly put costs up and say ‘here you go’. I have looked at the agenda to see how our residents will benefit from these changes.”
The final decision on the rise will be made at a cabinet budget meeting in February.