Average household council tax bills in Haringey set to rise by £39

By Russ Lawrence in Local People

Average Haringey households face paying an extra £39.55 a year on their council tax bills from April.

The hike is expected to be approved at a budget-fixing meeting of the full council on Monday, February 27.

Although the the Labour-controlled local authoriiy has frozen its share of the charge for the seventh consecutive year the Greater London Authority’s precept has risen by 1.5 per cent while a three per cent charge is being levied by the council to fund social care for the borough’s vulnerable and elderly.

Councils have been allowed by government to increase council tax to a maximum of three per cent this year to raise revenue as long as the money is specifically spent on adult social care.

The cash-strapped council-facing £20 million of savings due to government funding cuts-will raise an additional £2.7 million from the hike, but in a report to Tuesday night’s Cabinet meeting that sum was described as a “sticking plaster” with the council needing to plug a £12 million funding gap in its adult social care budget.

The Band D council tax-the benchmark average figure-will rise to £1,523.56.

Cllr Jason Arthur, Haringey Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Health, said: “We’ve recommended that the government’s social care levy be added to council tax bills in Haringey, but we need to be clear that this additional funding will be a drop in the ocean.

“While the government has cut our budget year-on-year, we have seen an unprecedented increase in cost and demand for services for the most vulnerable residents in our borough.

“We’ve decided to continue to freeze our share of the council tax bill because we know that any additional increase would heap further pressure on people with lower incomes, many of whom are already feeling the impact of increasing living costs.

“We’ve listened closely to what local people have told us, which is why our proposals include a commitment to maintaining current opening hours at our libraries and investment in further library improvements, alongside funding for roads, pavements and leisure,” he added.

Other budget recommendations made by Cabinet include:

·*£2million investment in libraries, shelving an earlier suggestion to reduce opening hours

* £4million investment in roads and pavements across the borough

* £1.8million for aids and adaptations to support elderly and disabled residents

* £200,000 for outdoor gyms to help more people to live healthily

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