'Taxpayers to fill financial black hole' - reaction to six per cent Council Tax hike

Leader of the Conservative Group in Calderdale Councillor Scott Benton
Leader of the Conservative Group in Calderdale Councillor Scott Benton

The leader of the Conservative group in Calderdale has reacted to the budget proposals saying that taxpayers are being expected to fill a huge black hole in Council finances.

The Labour-led Council budget proposals include a three per cent rise in Council Tax rates in 2018-19, and a further three per cent in 2019-20, reducing to two per cent in 2020-21.

The Cabinet is also proposing to use the Social Care Precept to raise Council Tax bills by a further three per cent in 2018-19.

However, Coun Scott Benton (Conservative) said many local people will be extremely disappointed to see a planned Council Tax rise of 5.99% this year.

"This large increase is nearly double the rate of inflation and will increase the pressure on the household budgets of families across Calderdale.

"Those with less ability to pay will be particularly alarmed by this whopping increase.

"The Council is a long way behind in implementing millions of pounds worth of savings which have already been agreed.

"In addition to this, the Council overspent by millions of pounds on large capital projects such as the Princess Buildings and Piece Hall – this lack of competent financial management from the Labour leadership has created a huge black hole in the Council’s finances that they are now expecting local taxpayers to fill."

Leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift said the proposals will enable the Council to provide high quality care for frail and vulnerable people, and to help meet increasing demand as the population ages.

To read the full Council Budgets in full click here.