Havering could be set for another council tax rise

Havering Town Hall

Havering Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Taxpayers are set to be asked if they are willing to pay an extra 47p a week to support vulnerable elderly people in the borough.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement that town halls across the country will be able to increase council tax by two per cent to cover rising costs in adult social care.

Havering Council officers have recommended taking up the option, which would see another rise on top of this year’s 1.99pc increase. Should cabinet agree next week, the matter will go to public consultation the next day.

The question residents will be asked is: “In line with the Chancellor’s autumn announcement of the potential to increase council tax by a further 2pc to fund social services, would you be prepared to possibly pay an extra £47p per week (based on Band D) to support the continued provision of care for vulnerable adults in Havering?”

The consultation would last four weeks, meaning it couldn’t be considered at the January cabinet, but would be discussed at the February council tax setting meeting.

The exact details are confused by the reduction in council tax next year due to the Olympic precept ending.

The Autumn Statement dealt a blow to Havering’s financial strategy, as it did to all local authorities, and more will be learned after the Local Government Financial Settlement is announced next week.

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Cllr Damian White, deputy leader of the council, said having the oldest population in London meant Havering needs more than most authorities to ensure the elderly receive the care they need.

He said: “It’s a well-known fact that the majority of council funds are spent on social care, and having the oldest population in London means we need much more than most to offer our residents the care that they deserve.

“We will be consulting with residents on the proposals put forward by the chancellor to increase council tax by 2pc, with the extra money to be used to support our most vulnerable older residents.

“This would mean residents paying council tax for a band D property would pay just 47p per week more.

“I must stress that no decisions have been made, and it will very much depend on the financial settlement awarded by government for Havering. We believe we will be notified of the settlement next week.”

What do you think of the plans? Email Sam or call 020 8477 3810.

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