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Essex County Council may add to Harlow Council Tax bill

Politics / Thu 26th Nov 2015 at 10:46am

Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “The emerging picture is that local government has been hit very hard – so much so the Chancellor did not even mention the reduction to our budgets in his speech. The very significant reduction in our grant funding will place considerable extra pressures on services across the board.

“We were already considering a council tax increase of 2%. Enabling us to increase council tax by a further 2% to pay for social care funding puts the onus on the taxpayer to bridge the funding gap – there is no new money in this, just new taxes. In Essex, 2% would only provide half of the money we need to pay for the national living wage. We would need to consider the impact on taxpayers very carefully.

“The Chancellor asking us to use our reserves to help would only give us 23 days of funding. Most of our reserves are earmarked and we couldn’t use them anyway.

“The Chancellor had better news on devolution and retaining business rates but that was a promise for the future, rather than the reality of the situation today, which is far worse than we had been anticipating.”

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