Council budget for 2018/19: Cabinet to consider proposal for 6% rise in council tax
The Cabinet will be meeting on Wednesday 7 February to consider the Budget that it will put forward to the Full Council meeting on 20 February. The budget will include the proposal to raise council tax by the maximum amount allowed by central government without having to hold a referendum. The limits are 3% (in line with the current rate of inflation as measured by the consumer prices index) plus those councils that have responsibility for social care can raise an additional precept of up to 3%.
The social care precept was first introduced by the government last year allowing councils to raise up to 6% supplement over a 3-year period. Cornwall Council raised 2% in the current year (2017/18); it is proposing to raise 3% in the forthcoming year (2018/19) and then a final 1% in 2019/20. This means that the total council tax raised by Cornwall Council in 2018/19 will be 6% higher than in the current year. This excludes whatever amounts may be requested by Devon and Cornwall Police and by local town and parish councils.
This rise in council tax will, unfortunately, be accompanied by continued cuts in some service areas because of the year-on-year cuts in central government funding to local councils and the inevitable increases in demand in some services because of demographic pressures.