Cornwall news Council cash available for those who can't afford tax hike UK news

MetiNews.Com - The proposed increase of 4.99% is to be voted on by the fill council today and includes 3.99% just for adult social care

Cornwall news Council cash available for those who can't afford tax hike UK news

MetiNews.Com - The proposed increase of 4.99% is to be voted on by the fill council today and includes 3.99% just for adult social care

Cornwall news  Council cash available for those who can't afford tax hike UK news
23 February 2021 - 09:16

Breaking News ! Cornwall Council will help tens of thousands of households which will struggle to pay their council tax by giving them a one-off reduction on their bill. The council will today (Tuesday, February 23) set its budget for 2021/22 which will include setting the council tax for the year. Councillors will be asked to approve a 4.99% increase which includes a general rise of 1.99% and an additional 3% which will be used to directly fund adult social care. However the council recognises that the increase could be too much for low income households so it has made an extra £3 million available to those who are eligible for council tax support. Adam Paynter, deputy leader of the council, said that it had estimated that there could be 35,000 households which qualify for council tax support next year which reduces bills by 25%. He explained that the £3m would be used to provide every household receiving council tax support an extra £75 off their bill. In addition the council also has a £1m hardship fund which provides council tax assistance for people who need short-term support if they lose their jobs or their circumstances change. Cllr Paynter and council leader Julian German said that while council tax rates were set to rise the amount of money that the council would have to spend on services was actually set to drop. Cllr German said: "We know that it will be really challenging for people with a 5% council tax rise. We are making sure the burden isn't too much on them. "But even with a 5% council tax rise we are going to have £2m less than last year. "Last year the budget was £602.577m, with the 5% council tax rise this coming year it will be £600.577m. "It is important for residents to realise that when the Government talks about increasing councils' spending power they are building in that 5% council tax rise. "The unfairness of having the continuing precept through local taxation to fund adult social care when the Government has been talking for a decade now about the funding of social care and how that needs to be done through central taxation, but we keep having that pressure locally which is unfair on some of the poorest residents in the country." The council leader explained that the cost of providing adult social care had increased dramatically over the past 12 years. In 2009 the council spent £110m on adult social care - this year it has budgeted £195.8m. Social care is the biggest area of expenditure for the council. Cllr German said: "It is a huge increase over the last 12 years and it goes to show the need there is in the community and all that we are doing to provide social care for our vulnerable residents. "The Government really does need to address this situation because it is becoming a case where councils across the country are really struggling to provide other services because of the pressures of social care." Councillor Paynter said the council's budget plans include having to make £18m savings in the coming year. The Lib Dem councillor said: "Even with a 5% increase we are still having to make significant savings.

.4m behind where we thought we would be. "If we were given that £9.4m that would equate to 3% of council tax. The Government said at the beginning of the pandemic that we should do everything we could to support people and businesses in Cornwall and they would reimburse us. That is what we have done but we are still £9.4m down." Cllr Paynter said the council's four-year medium term financial plan includes savings of £33m but said that by the end of that time in order to reach a balanced budget the council will need to make another £27m of savings. He said: "Overall it is £60m which is a huge number that we need to find to balance the budget." Cllr Paynter said it was vital that a planned fairer funding review is completed by the Government to address the disparity in funding for Cornwall compared to other parts of the country. He said: "That £60m we need to fund could disappear if we were funded at the level of an average council." With council elections in May this year's budget will be the last to be set by the Liberal Democrat/Independent administration at County Hall. So what do the top two councillors during that time think they have achieved? Cllr German said that the "record speaks for itself" and highlighted the council being named the top performing authority in the country for delivering affordable housing and in the top 10% of children's services. He said: "We have seen improvement across the council. It has been a really challenging time and if we go back to the start of the pandemic and how we responded to that, we were agile and turned the council around. "We had 31 firefighters driving ambulances and Cornwall Housing delivering a million pieces of PPE the council procured. "I am really proud of the response we have had and what we have achieved over the last four years." Cllr Paynter added: "We have achieved a huge amount, the biggest thing for me, the legacy is a council that is safely fit for purpose and in shape to go forward and the road ahead. "It is not top heavy, it is the right size for delivering services going forward. "We believe we are leaving the council in good shape. There will be no note from me saying 'sorry guys we have spent all the money'. "We still have the ability to do more and deliver more. We are very proud of reaching the 1,000 homes target and putting more homes for people in Cornwall in the pipeline over the next four years. "A lot of people ask me whether their children or grandchildren will be able to live and work in Cornwall. We have done an awful lot to facilitate, to enable families and local people - to be the number one deliverer of affordable housing and our own housing programme is really an amazing feature of this council."

Source = MetiNews.Com - Cornwall

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Cornwall news Council cash available for those who can't afford tax hike UK news


Cornwall news Council cash available for those who can't afford tax hike UK news


Cornwall news Council cash available for those who can't afford tax hike UK news


Cornwall news Council cash available for those who can't afford tax hike UK news

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