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Budget Consultation 2018 - 2021

Increasing income

Consultation proposal for increasing income for the Council.

Income image

To increase council tax by three per cent in each of the next three years of this budget

Context

Whilst we don't yet know the exact budget available to us from the Scottish Government, we are expecting to have to make savings in the region of £26million by 2021. This is on top of the £37million we have already saved since 2012. 

In forecasting an anticipated savings gap of £26million we have made a number of assumptions. This includes assuming that council tax in our area will continue to rise by three per cent each year, over the next three years. We have also assumed that our cash grant will recognise the growth in our population and therefore not reduce by more than 2.5 per cent each year.

However, if our grant reduces by more than 2.5 per cent and if we do not increase council tax, then the level of savings needed would be much higher than £26million.

With £37million of savings already made in the past five years alone it has been extremely difficult to identify how we can make additional savings of £26million over the next three years. It would be simply impossible to find more savings without making further cuts to services that would have a major and lasting impact on all our residents from the very young to the very old.  

Council tax rates in East Renfrewshire are already below the national average. We do appreciate that many of our residents in higher band houses had a considerable rise in council tax last year as part of national changes. However, the result of a freeze would see a major reduction in funding to our schools, in our public infrastructure such as roads, in our local environment such as parks and cleansing services and in large scale cuts to social care budgets.

Proposal

To increase council tax by three per cent in each of the next three years of this budget.

What this will mean

By 2021 council tax will have risen by just over nine per cent  This means that council tax in a band D property which today is £1,159.78 will be £1,194.57 in 2018/19, £1,230.41 in 2019/20 and £1,267.32 in 2020/2021.

At the moment we are one of the top performing councils in Scotland. Despite the impact on services that will result from the £26m worth of savings we are consulting on we still believe that we can continue to offer our residents a high standard and quality of life in East Renfrewshire.

However this is only achievable if we assume that local council tax rates will continue to increase annually. 

Have your say

Share your views through our online consultation platform, Citizen Space.


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