Posted by: westlancashirerecord | January 20, 2017

15% Council Tax Hike In Surrey? In The Rich South-East?

News broke yesterday that Tory Surrey County Council surreycouncil is to hold a referendum asking residents for permission to hike council tax by an eye-watering 15%. What the media didn’t say, however, is that the Council are going to hike council tax by 15% in their budget, and give taxpayers their money back next year if they lose the subsequent referendum, likely to be held in May. The reason the Council is doing this, it says, is to plug a black hole in their finances to pay for the increasing costs of adult social care. Now, there is no doubt that appropriately funding social care is one of the most challenging policy issues we face. But a 15% tax hike in Surrey is shocking!

The scale of this tax increase would put a whopping £190 per year on a family’s bill for an average Band D property in Surrey. It seems that Tory Surrey Council has for years been overspending and hiking taxes, which has left its finances in tatters and ill-prepared for demographic challenges that we all knew were coming. David Hodge, Leader of Surrey County Council, has announced a proposal to seek a council tax rise of 15%. He said “We have to set a budget that will protect vital services for Surrey residents. Government has cut our annual grant by £170m since 2010 leaving a huge gap in our budget. Demand for adults social care, learning disabilities and children’s services is increasing every year. So I regret, despite us finding £450m worth of savings from our annual budget, we have no choice but to propose this increase in council tax”. God help us in the poor north then!

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