Council tax rises as Sheffield is "stretched to limit"

0
Have your say

Sheffield residents will see their council tax go up - but politicians say it’s the only way they can continue to provide essential services amid huge Government cuts.

Labour says it has had to find £31m of savings from services - on top of £390m of savings over the last eight years.

They say severe austerity has forced them to rise council tax by just under six per cent - the maximum increase allowed by the Government.

Coun Olivia Blake, Cabinet Member for Finance, told the council’s annual Budget meeting that Government cuts were stretching Sheffield to the limit.

“We’ve seen £195m stripped from our main government grant since 2010, at the same time the number of people needing complex services has rocketed.

“This has forced us to implement a programme of cuts stretching our organisation to its limits. The social care crisis continue to unfold. During the last year we have had to put in place recovery and improvement plans in both adults and children’s social care. The chronic underfunding of social care is becoming unsustainable.”

The Lib Dems argued that council tax should only increase by five per cent.

Coun Adam Hanrahan, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance, said: "We believe that the hard working people of this city should be able to keep more of the money they earn, that’s why the Liberal Democrat budget has a lower council tax rise than any other party in this chamber.

“Because if we want people to spend their money in the city, driving our local economy then putting some back in their pockets is the best way to do that.”