Notts 4% council tax rise moves a step closer

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Nottinghamshire Council’s planned 4 per cent council tax rise has moved a step closer after the authority’s finance committee approved the first stages of its budget.

The increase would see the standard precept increase by 1 per cent and the separate social care precept by 3 per cent.

The council says the extra money is needed to fund increasing demand for social care and to improve the condition of the county’s roads.

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It means people living in Band A or B properties, which make up about 60 per cent of all homes in Nottinghamshire, would see annual bills rise by £42.16 and £49.19 respectively.

Coun Lee Waters.Coun Lee Waters.
Coun Lee Waters.

Band C properties will see bills rise by £56.21 per year, with Band D increasing by £64.24, Band E by £77.29, Band F by £91.35, Band G by £105.40 and Band H by £126.48 over the year.

However, the increase comes alongside a backdrop of the Government giving a £150 council tax rebate to all residents living in Bands A to D homes for the coming financial year.

The payment is being planned to support households with the upcoming cost of living crisis and a surge in household gas and electricity bills.

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In Nottinghamshire, 88.4 per cent of all homes are listed in Bands A to D, with slightly more than 330,000 properties due to benefit from the rebate.

The council tax rebate will not need to be repaid and will be issued directly by local authorities, with councils to automatically adjust residents’ bills if they pay by direct debit.

If residents pay in instalments, the discount will be split equally across each of those individual payments.

Coun Richard Jackson, finance committee chairman, welcomed the move and said it will support residents with soaring household bills.

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Hook, line and sinker

But speaking in the latest finance committee meeting, one opposition councillor accused the Conservative-led authority of being a victim of Stockholm Syndrome by falling for the rebate ‘hook, line and sinker'.

Coun Lee Waters welcomed the rebate, but said reduced Government grants since 2010 has meant the council tax ‘burden’ on residents has been higher than it may have needed to be.

He said: “Year on year, the Conservatives in Government have axed tens of millions in revenue support.

“At the very time as Nottinghamshire residents’ council tax has dramatically gone up, Government support has dramatically gone down.

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Councils are on the brink, yet Tory austerity has added £477 onto each household Council Tax bill.

“While the £150 rebate is welcome, it is merely a sticking plaster that hides the fact that 12 years of Tory austerity has hit residents in the pocket.”

However, Coun Jackson said the authority is one of the ‘highest benefiting authorities’ and in a position where it can invest in services and will not be making any cuts.

He said: “Rather than Government cuts, we have benefited.

“We are one of the highest-benefiting authorities in terms of additional funding for this financial year.

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“It’s about £18.9 million of additional funding for this year alone. There are improved services and investments in services in this budget.”

Councillors approved recommendations to move the budget to its next stage of approval, with the document to go before all councillors for debate on February 24.

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