Oldham Council Tax: "Bills are already too high to begin with" say Liberal Democrats

Date published: 02 March 2021

Oldham's Liberal Democrats say the proposed Council Tax rise is "small comfort" to residents in the town.

The cabinet has recommended an increase of 2.99% for the next financial year, meaning an increase of at least £30 across the borough.

The increase is the lowest amongst the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, but Oldham's Liberal Democrat group say the bills are still one of the highest in the area.

Of the ten local authorities, the Oldham Liberal Democrats have identified that only Stockport presented a higher Council Tax bill to residents in 2020.  Oldham’s bill for a Band D property was £1,678 compared to Stockport’s £1,691.

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE said:  “In these difficult economic times, when we are all counting the pennies, Oldham Council Tax payers will, I am sure, be glad that bills will go up by 2.99% this year rather than the 5% that is permitted without a referendum, but this is small comfort when bills are already so high to begin with.”

“That is why the Liberal Democrats continue to seek further savings and efficiencies from Council bureaucracy where we can to free up more cash for front line services, and that is what we shall do again when we present our Budget Amendment to Council on Thursday 4 March.”

Cabinet member for finance, Councillor Abdul Jabbar said the authority had been permitted by the government to raise council tax by up to 4.99pc, but decided against this.

“We’ve very reluctantly looked at the difficult financial position that we’ve got and we’ve decided to go for an increase of 2.99,” he said.

“We don’t want to do this but we have to do it because we have to produce a balanced budget."

The proposals will be voted on at a meeting of the full council on Thursday, March 4.

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