Doncaster families are facing a council tax hit in the pocket next year, it has been confirmed.
The council budget has revealed a 3.9 per cent increase in the bills residents will receive this year, despite the authority making spending cuts.
The draft plans published this week take account of the impact of the National Living Wage and the Government’s social care ‘levy’ on Council Tax which raises money that must be spent on adult social care.
The two per cent ‘levy’ is an increase in Council Tax in addition to a further 1.99 per cent which also being proposed.
Doncaster Council spends around £130million every year on adult social care and the new ‘levy’ will raise just under £2million.
Mayor Ros Jones said: “The actions of successive Governments have left us with little choice but to put Council Tax up. I was particularly disappointed that in the Autumn statement the Chancellor did not deal with the pressing issues facing NHS and social care funding, choosing instead to pass this burden on to local Council Tax payers.”
She said Doncaster residents currently pay the ninth lowest Council Tax in the country, when compared to other metropolitan districts and unitary councils. Under the draft proposals, the total Council Tax bill for a Band A property would rise by just under £32 per year or 61p a week in 2017/18.
She said the council would remain focused on key priorities for Doncaster, particularly creating more, well paid jobs, and ensuring that residents are supported to access the new opportunities that are being created.
She said: “There is no hiding from the fact that further difficult decisions lie ahead but I believe these draft budget proposals focus on the key priorities for Doncaster. I have always been clear that the council must live within its means and do the best it can for local people, communities and businesses and this is reflected in these plans.”
A period of consultation will now take place which will enable people to put forward alternative proposals prior to the budget being discussed at full council on March 2 next year.
The authority is looking to fill an estimated £26 million gap in the budget by cuts and the tax rises for 2017/18.
This is on top of the £109million cuts which the Mayor included in her three-year budget for 2014/15 to 2016/17, through major efficiency savings and the modernisation of council services.
In her draft proposals the Mayor indicates she will look deal with the cuts by making the best use of modern technology, reshaping services and generating more income.