Posted: Thu 29th Feb 2024

Ceredigion councillors urged to reject proposed 11.1% council tax hike

news.wales / newyddion.cymru

Ceredigion councillors, meeting this Thursday to decide a potential 11.1 per cent council tax hike, should “show some backbone” and say no to the increase, a UK campaign group has said.
The full council meeting of Ceredigion County Council, to be held on February 29, is recommended to back a Cabinet-supported increase in council tax of 11.1 per cent, against a budget requirement of £193.572m.
A report for members says the 2024-’25 budget is “Ceredigion County Council’s starkest budget yet,” with “incredibly difficult and unpalatable budget choices”.
This increase, expected to be the second-highest by percentage in Wales after neighbouring Pembrokeshire, would take the basic level for a Band D average property to £1,726.05, up from £1,553.60.
Benjamin Elks, grassroots development manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This double-digit rate rise would deal a devastating blow to household finances in Ceredigion.
“Local taxpayers face being punished for the council’s failure to find efficiencies, cut down on waste and balance the books.
“Councillors should show some backbone, stand up for their residents and say no to this inflation-busting tax hike.”
A report for members ahead of the February 29 meeting says: “The estimated revenue cost pressures being faced by the council for 24/25 total £18m, equivalent to a Ceredigion-specific inflation factor of 10 per cent.   This compares with general inflation running at four per cent.
“A budget shortfall of £14m has needed to be found from a combination of budget reductions and council tax increase considerations.
“Councillors have therefore had to face incredibly difficult and unpalatable budget choices as part of weighing up how and where to reduce the cost of council services, alongside considering the appropriate level of funding to be raised through council tax.”
It said balancing the budget “has been an unenviable task,” with 70 budget reduction proposals in addition to the council tax increase.
Additions to the base council tax bill in Ceredigion include the individual town and community council bills, and the Dyfed-Powys Police precept, set at £332.03 for a Band D property.
The average Band D total for the county, taking in all three factors would be £2,103.89, with Aberystwyth the highest at £2,209.66, and Nantcwnlle the lowest at £2,064.64.
Total Band D rates for Ceredigion towns, at the 11.1 per cent increase proposed, include: Aberystwyth, £2,209.66; Aberaeron, £2,116.32; New Quay £2,103.08; Cardigan £2,106.04; Tregaron £2,102.48; Llandysul £2,097.80; and Lampeter £2,100.72.
Ceredigion had previously faced a rise of 13.9 per cent, backed by Cabinet in January before a later Cabinet proposal this month for 11.1 per cent.
Ceredigion County Council has been contacted for a response to the Taxpayers Alliance call.
Neighbouring Pembrokeshire is recommended to back a 16.3 per cent increase at its full council meeting of March 7. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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