Council tax to increase by 5.8 per cent this year
PUBLISHED: 09:46 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:19 20 February 2019
Newham residents will see their council tax rise for the first time in a decade.
On Monday councillors passed plans that will see charges increase by 5.8 per cent in total from April.
Newham Council is adding 2.9 per cent to the tax, while a further 2 per cent will be added for the Adult Social Care Precept. The further increase comes from City Hall.
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said Newham’s increase would go towards the £22.1million her administration is investing in priority frontline services and contribute to the council paying all care staff the London living wage.
The council plans to spend a total of £214m on services.
“This is a 213-page radical budget that is set to transform our communities,” she said.
“Finally the residents of Newham have a council with a political leadership that truly cares about them. Through this budget we are investing £22.1m in council services.
“This council has lost almost £100million in funding in the last six years. “Austerity has thrown more and more of our people into poverty. These are tough times and all councils have had to make some tough choices.
Newham will still have the lowest council tax in outer London.”
She added: “I passionately believe in our young people and that’s why there is significant investment in areas that support them.
“The £1.3m for special education provision, £10.6m in children and young people’s services, and £1.4m in youth services, is the biggest increased investment in our children and young people that this council has proposed for a generation.”
Residents in an average Band D property will see payments upped by £72.62 per year, increasing their bill to £1339.39.
Cllr Terry Paul, cabinet member for finance and corporate services, said the hike would be offset by the introduction of a new council tax reduction scheme for the borough’s poorest residents.
The scheme will benefit some 19,000 Newham households and see an average of £118 cut off the bill for the most vulnerable residents.
I understand people’s reservation about the council tax,” he said. “But the reduction scheme balances this.
“Freezing council tax again will impact on Newham’s children and vulnerable people. To do nothing actually harms people.”
Ms Fiaz added: “There have been some difficult decisions, including a modest increase in council tax for the first time in ten years. It was not a decision taken lightly. We want to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our community by slashing their council tax bill.”