Having spoken in the Budget debate earlier this week, I got another opportunity to challenge the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, during Treasury Questions. I asked him about the impact of his Budget on local authority finances, and raised my concern that councils have not been fully compensated for costs and loss of income incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now the Chancellor’s Budget means that councils will have to increase Council Tax even further in order to fund services.
The Budget assumes that Council Tax will rise by at least 3%, although this could be more. Council Tax is a regressive form of taxation, yet Government policy means councils are increasingly having to rely on it as their main source of funding. The Chancellor, instead of easing the burden on families who are already struggling with the cost of living, decided to cut tax surcharges on bank profits and let online giants like Amazon off the hook as they continue to undercut high-street shops.