Thursday, 24 February 2011

Welsh households pay £466 less a year for council services than English households

I thought this WLGA press release was worth publising in its entirety. It shows that the Welsh Government does provide value for money compared to English local authorities. £466 a household is a lot of money in this current economic climate.
The WLGA predicts that the average council tax increase across Wales for 2011-12 will be the lowest since devolution, at approximately 2.93%. This is well below the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is currently running at 4%. This prediction is based on a survey of councils across Wales, although not all councils have yet finalised their budgets and council tax increases for 2011-12.

Responding to this historically low average increase, Cllr John Davies (Pembrokeshire) WLGA Leader said:

“I’m pleased that by working with colleagues across Wales we have managed to keep council tax increases down to the bare minimum required to protect the services that people value while at the same time trying not to put too much pressure on household budgets. As it stands this increase amounts to 52 pence per week for the average Band D payer in Wales.”

“There is no doubt that the next few years will be very tough for local government finances and councils must therefore be prudent in their council tax setting decisions to ensure that they have sufficient funding over the medium term and for the next financial year. At the same time councils are forcing more efficiency from their systems, reducing their workforces and are looking to implement a second year pay freeze. These actions, taken together with modest increases in council tax will help councils protect vital front line services.”

“There has been some criticism that Welsh councils have failed to freeze tax increases like their counterparts in Scotland and England. The Taxpayers Alliance never let the facts spoil a good argument - in England the UK Government has earmarked funding to councils to freeze council tax whereas in Wales the Welsh Assembly Government has earmarked councils’ funding to provide additional support for education and social services and has recognised the need for councils to strike a balance between sustaining these key services and limiting any additional pressure on hard-pressed households. If comparisons are to be drawn between England and Wales, then council tax in Wales represents value for money compared to England with the average Band D Bill for 2011-12 likely to be £466 less than in England.”

Cllr Rodney Berman (Cardiff), WLGA Finance Spokesperson said:

“Councils have again had to make some difficult decisions in this budget round, trying to balance the pressures facing frontline services with the need to protect citizens in their communities from higher council tax increases.”

“The Local Government Settlement for 2011-12 is the worst since devolution, representing a cash cut in our grant of -1.4%. Despite this and increasing demands for services, particularly social services, councils have made a concerted effort to keep tax increases as low as possible.”

In the last financial year Wrecsam CBC had the seventh lowest Band D Council tax rate in England and Wales.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

So having our own devolved administration is good news for the people of Wales, no wonder we have a problem with in-migration from poorly governed and expensive England!

Anonymous said...

Don't hear the cynical Tories or the No campaigners mention this good news story do we?

Sean Skipton said...

According to MSN news item ("who pays the most and who pays the least council tax"), 4 of the 5 smallest council tax rates are in London. These include the City of Westminster (10,000 inhabitants and less than a thousand pounds for Band D) and the City of London (approx £550 for Band D). Now who lives there I wonder...

Anonymous said...

Don't think anyone can call this a good news story.

Council tax has more than doubled in Wales under Labour and Plaid administrations.

Council taxpayers in Wales will see rises of around 3% during difficult times whilst English ratepayers see bills frozen thanks to the coalition government.

In Wales people will soon face charges for using carrier bags, a tax which the Welsh Assembly Government cannot claim back off major supermarkets.

Also the construction industry is due to take a hit following the assembly government's decision to install sprinklers in all new homes. A move that will increase house prices making them unaffordable to many local people on low incomes.

Wales is the poorest part of the UK under Labour and Plaid's watch in Cardiff - NOTHING TO BE PROUD OF - therefore you would expect the much more affluent parts of England to pay more.

Just a few reasons to vote no.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

@grahnat is that you again?

4th Gunman said...

Another load of hot air from Plaid.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Another well thought out intellectual comment from the Paul Rogers crowd...Tories without an original thought!

Anonymous said...

@ Grahnat seems a very intellectual man when you follow him on twitter.

He is well respected within the ranks of the Conservatives for his political mind.

Y Mul go Gul said...

Is that the bloke who when he went back to England from Wales increased the IQ of both countries simultaneously?