Suffolk County Council approves 3% council tax hike
5:49 PM February 17, 2022
Suffolk County Council has approved a 3% council tax increase from April 2022.
The authority voted 47 to 11 to increase its share of the housing tax bill by 3% – 1.99% on the main element and an additional 1% on the precept of social protection for adults, during of its Thursday afternoon meeting.
This means a B band house – the most common in the county – will pay 62p per week more, or 80p for a D band.
Added to the already approved increase of 4.2% with the police share of the tax, and with the district and boroughs due to approve their share next week, owners of Band D should see a total increase of approximately £50-55 on this year’s bill. , depending on where they live.
The Conservative administration said it recognizes the cost-of-living pressures families face, which is why it did not opt for the maximum 2% possible on the adult social care portion of the bill, which would have brought its total increase to 4%.
Conservative finance and environment cabinet member Richard Rout said the new budget ‘does not cut or cut services’.
He added: “Not only is it responding to all of our demand pressures, but it is investing more in our priority areas while not taking the maximum 4% hike that was available to us.
“Now that we are emerging from the pandemic, the cost of living is rising, energy bills are rising and weekly grocery stores are significantly more expensive.
“So it’s only fair that this county council takes only what it needs from the people of Suffolk to balance its budget and meet our demand pressures.”
The total 2022/23 budget will increase from £598.2m to £625.4m, which includes an additional £16.2m for adult social care and £9.9m for child and youth services.
The boosted coffers include £1.1m for improved SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) services, £6.5m over four years for more places in SEND schools and £1m over the next four years for more visible highway improvements.
Alternative proposals had been tabled by the opposition group of Greens, Liberal Democrats and Independents. These have proposed using the full increase in adult social care to generate an extra £3.6m to pay carers more.
The proposals, rejected by the Tory administration, also suggested spending £600,000 from reserves to create a fuel poverty pilot scheme for homes where energy efficiency cannot be improved.