Council tax hike and cutbacks afoot

Embargoed to 0001 Monday February 29

File photo dated 06/01/15 of money in a piggy bank, as not saving enough cash, having a paltry pension pot and getting into debt are Britons' biggest financial regrets, research has found. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 29, 2016. Being unable to work or earn more in their job, delaying buying a house, taking bad advice from family or friends and getting divorced were other common money mistakes. See PA story MONEY Regrets. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Embargoed to 0001 Monday February 29 File photo dated 06/01/15 of money in a piggy bank, as not saving enough cash, having a paltry pension pot and getting into debt are Britons' biggest financial regrets, research has found. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 29, 2016. Being unable to work or earn more in their job, delaying buying a house, taking bad advice from family or friends and getting divorced were other common money mistakes. See PA story MONEY Regrets. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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Nottingham City Council increased council tax by almost four per cent when it set the budget this week.

Councillors said the increase of 3.95 per cent was needed to keep vital services like adult social care going following Government cuts.

The council had to find £20.5m of savings from the budget for the forthcoming year, having lost £70m in Government grant since 2013/14.

As well as expecting councils to raise council tax by a further two per cent to compensate for the cuts, the national Government introduced a two per cent social care levy – which forms half the increase for 2016/17.

The levy will raise £1.8m in Nottingham – but this will not meet the cost of over £4.7m the city needs to care just for the additional elderly and disabled people requiring services each year. It will impact on support for people with Alzheimer’s, the length of wait for assessment, reduced time carers can spend with the elderly and a focus on severe cases.

Nottingham City Council’s deputy leader, Coun Graham Chapman, said: “We don’t want to place this extra burden on local households, but unfortunately this is the way things are headed under this Government. They have imposed more savage cuts on councils like ours than those in wealthy areas. They have added insult to injury by handing out special grants to those more affluent places to help them cope with cuts whilst overlooking places like Nottingham that have been more drastically affected.

“These manifestly unfair cuts so far are just a prelude to scrapping the main Government grant to councils in favour of local services being funded by local taxpayers through council tax and Business Rates.”