Plans to increase Council Tax in Oldham to be discussed tonight

Date published: 23 January 2020

Plans to increase Council Tax in Oldham will be discussed this evening.

The authority is proposing a 2.99 per cent increase for residents.

That means anybody living in a Band D property - worth between £68,001 and £88,000 - would have to pay an extra £56.72 per year.

It comes off the back of a 3.99 per cent increase last year.

The plans will be discussed at the Council's Overview and Scrutiny committee this evening.

The authority says the increase is to cover funding Adult Social Care.

In defence of the proposals, the council says it has been forced to cut £215million from its budget since 2010 - and that reductions in funding from central government means that, even with the council tax rise, the proposed budget for 2020-21 is still down £3million on the year before.

Band A properties - worth up to £40,000 - would have to pay an additional £2.70 a month, or £32.40 per year.

That's before Parish Council and Mayoral precepts are added.

Councillor Abdul Jabbar MBE, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Finance, said: "We understand that local hard-working people and families face a daily challenge to balance their own budgets. 

"Low pay and the increasing cost of fuel, food and energy are a struggle for many people.

"We can't ignore this and that's why we are proposing the lowest increase in Council Tax since 2015.

"However, Oldham Council faces its own financial challenges too and balancing the budget while investing in the future and protecting local services gets harder each year.

"This year we have managed to maintain spending on services for local people with no cuts to them. We will only make savings in how the Council operates and by investing in new ways of working.

"Failure by the Government to address the rising demand and costs for Adult Social Care is a major national crisis that causes real financial pressures here in Oldham. 

"We cannot say when the Government will address this problem but, in the meantime, we must continue to adequately fund this important service.  

"We have a bold ambition to invest in good schools for young people, our local town centres and better local housing. 

"This budget supports our ambition and these priorities will create a brighter future for Oldham."

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