Council tax to be frozen but council faces more big cuts

On Wednesday, Rotherham council will formally adopt its budget for the 2013/14 financial year. The Labour Group of councillors have issued a statement to the press  which makes the following points:

  • Over the first four years of this government, the council will have faced cuts equivalent to £150 for every resident – amongst the hardest hit 20% of councils in England. Next week’s budget requires a further £20 million of cuts and savings.
  • To keep as much money as possible in people’s pockets, we will freeze council tax for local residents for the third year running. As the government harks back to the dark days of the poll tax by targeting a £4m council tax benefit cut directly at the residents who can least afford it, this year we will limit the amount of council tax the poorest residents have to pay.
  • We accept that these are difficult economic times and we have to ensure our services are as efficient as possible but we say to the Prime Minister “enough is enough”. The coalition strategy is divisive and misguided and does nothing to help people back to work, grow our local economy or support the people who need it the most.
  • People are already feeling the pain and the impact will continue over the coming years if the Government continues with this policy of forcing harsher cuts on northern communities like ours. In the 2014/15 budget, RMBC will have to find savings of a further £20 million, around 9.1%.

The council has already lost more than 1000 staff as a result of cuts over the last two years.

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