Would you pay £1 per week more to protect essential Islington services?

13 February 2017

Islington Green Party has launched a public consultation to ask whether Islington residents would support an additional five percent increase in Council Tax for 2017/18 to prevent proposed cuts to adult social care, children’s services and services for people with learning disabilities.

The Greens are encouraging local residents to go to Islington.greenparty.org.uk/budget to give their opinions on whether the party should push for a council tax referendum at the upcoming Islington budget meeting. The Greens are currently the only opposition to the majority Labour-run council.

The Labour council is proposing a 1.99 per cent increase in Council Tax as well as a 3 precept to fund social care; the maximum allowed without having to go to the public for permission via a referendum. The Greens are consulting Islington residents on the idea of an increase of an additional 5 per cent which would represent slightly under £1 a week to someone in an average band D home (£51.01 annually) and would raise £3.7million after the cost of the referendum is accounted for.

The cost to residents would vary in the different banding of homes. In Band A properties the Green proposal would mean an increase of 65p a week on Labour’s proposals. The highest band, Band H, would represent an increase of just under £2 a week (£102.02 annually)

If the proposal was passed by Islington Council, local residents would get to vote on whether they supported the proposed increase in Council Tax in a referendum. Surrey Council recently hit the headlines proposing a 15 per cent increase to save adult social care. Islington Council would vote on the proposals on 23rd February at 7:30pm at Islington Town Hall.

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The increase would raise £4m, whilst the referendum would cost £300,000. The Greens are suggesting the £3.7m increase in revenue could offset proposed cuts of:

  • £1.25m to services for people with learning disabilities (which would prevent the wholesale reorganisation of how people with learning disabilities are assessed and what support is offered)
  • £1.24m to children’s services (which are threatening the loss of the under 5s childcare at Highbury Bandstand)
  • £1.21m for adult social care (which would prevent cuts to transport services that help get older people get to day centres and other care settings amongst other things)

Green Party Councillor Caroline Russell said; “Central government cuts to local councils have been devastating. Year after year Islington Council has faced almost impossible decisions about which essential services to scale back or withdraw. We want to ask Islington residents if they support paying extra each week to protect public services which thousands of us and our fellow residents rely on.”

“Our idea would involve just under £1 more a week in Council Tax for someone in an average Band D home compared to Labour’s proposals. That would provide vital funding to stop the Labour budget cuts to essential children’s services, adult social care and services for people with learning disabilities.”

“It’s important the council listens to residents and gives people a chance to protect services by paying a little bit more. We’ve set up a simple consultation form so people can feed in their thoughts ahead of the budget meeting. If residents give a clear steer that they would vote to pay a bit more to keep essential services for the most vulnerable residents then I’ll submit a budget amendment proposing a Council Tax referendum”.

“A yes vote would be a powerful message that Islington residents believe in the value of public services and oppose the government’s cruel and unnecessary financial austerity. We want to hear Islington resident’s opinions on whether they support the idea and I’m asking people to go to Islington.greenparty.org.uk/budget to give their opinions.”

The full increases below are detailed below:

 

Property Band

2016/17 Council Tax

Current Labour Council Tax proposal for 2017/18 (1.99% increase and a 3% precept for social care)

Green Party Council Tax proposal for 2017/18 (including an additional 5% increase)

Additional cost per year per household

Additional cost per week per household

A

£680.11

£714.04

£748.05

£34.01

£0.65

B

£793.46

£833.05

£872.72

£39.67

£0.76

C

£906.81

£952.06

£997.40

£45.34

£0.87

D

£1,020.16

£1,071.07

£1,122.07

£51.00

£0.98

E

£1,246.86

£1,309.08

£1,371.42

£62.34

£1.20

F

£1,473.56

£1,547.10

£1,620.77

£73.67

£1.42

G

£1,700.27

£1,785.11

£1,870.12

£85.01

£1.63

H

£2,040.32

£2,142.13

£2,244.15

£102.02

£1.96



Total additional raised

£4,000,000

Less cost of referendum

£-300,000

Net raised

£3,700,000

 






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