Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle North, has called on the government to scrap a planned council tax rise that will add £102 to annual household bill for the average Band D home in Newcastle North.
Newcastle City Council already faces a significant financial challenge after ten years of Conservative cuts which have slashed over £300 million from its budget. In 2010, around 40% of local government revenue came from council tax. Today it is more than 60%.
This means Conservative Governments have overseen a shift to a far more regressive way of paying for local government, squeezing struggling residents more and more, and putting the pressure on communities that can bear it least, while failing to deal with the real financial challenges local authorities face.
“Facing the worst recession of any major economy and with the virus still not under control, families in Newcastle North are already worried about paying their bills. It is disgraceful that the Government plan to increase council tax right at the very time when families are worried about their jobs and how they will get through the next few months.
“The Government promised to do whatever was necessary to support councils during the pandemic. The Prime Minister is now breaking that promise and leaving councils to face a funding gap, putting at risk the crucial services our communities rely on.
“The Government should not be making families pay for Tory mismanagement of the Coronavirus crisis. Boris Johnson must live up to his promise to support councils and stop the council tax hike”
The maximum Band D council tax increase in 2021/22 is £102 in Newcastle: Figure from The Centre of Progressive Policy.
The Opposition Day debate motion, tabled by Labour, was as follows:
That this House calls on the Prime Minister to drop the Government’s plans to force local councils to increase council tax in the middle of a pandemic by providing councils with funding to meet the Government’s promise to do whatever is necessary to support councils in the fight against Covid-19.