County Hall to increase Council Tax

The authority says the impact of COVID-19 has led to enormous uncertainty and an unprecedented challenge for the Council as it prepares its budget for the next financial year.

KCC has produced its draft budget for 2021-22, following a public consultation in the autumn.

The budget proposals will be voted on at the full County Council meeting in February. 

To meet these costs, KCC has proposed that Council Tax is increased by 1.99% plus 3% which is ring-fenced for adult social care services. These increases will protect frontline services, particularly for social care, which continue to be prioritised by residents in their responses to the Council’s budget consultations.

The increase equates to £67.50 a year for Band D households, equivalent to £1.30 a week, and low-income households can still claim discounts on their Council Tax bills under schemes operated by each district.

KCC Leader Roger Gough said: “The Government’s financial settlement in December was very welcome indeed, but much of that is one-off funding for Covid-19, and it is very clear from our budget forecasting that it is not enough to meet the projected shortfall for next year.

“The continued financial pressure in delivering social care, coupled with the massive financial challenges of responding to Covid-19, has brought about a situation of unprecedented risk and uncertainty.

“Covid-19 has exacerbated what was already a very challenging financial future for local authorities. I am immensely proud that, throughout the pandemic, we have continued to provide essential services and ensured that all those who have needed extra support have received it.”

He added that as well as an increase in Council Tax, the authority is also seeking to increase its reserves.

He said: “Some may ask why we have, in these difficult times, increased our reserves. The fact is that the demands on our budget and the financial impact of Covid-19 next year and in the future, is even more uncertain. We are not only required to balance our budget for next year, we also have to ensure that we are financially resilient in the medium term and can respond to increased risks.

“We have worked hard to produce a budget that protects the services that are most important to our residents, as well as taking a financially responsible approach.”


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