Following an extremely difficult round of budget setting for local government, councils in Wales have set an average rise of 4.2% in their local council tax rate.
While budget decisions by the Police and Community Councils will also affect the final council tax bill presented to householders, this change means that the average household in Wales will see an increase of around £42 a year, or 80 pence per week, in the amount they pay for local council services.
Cllr Aaron Shotton (Flintshire), WLGA Finance Spokesperson said:
“While changes to local council tax rates are expected to raise around £48m to help protect local public services, councils are also having to make a number of tough decisions on what further cost saving measures can be taken to address a total budget shortfall of around £290m that they have been left to manage in 2014-15.
“While councils are doing everything they can to avoid placing any additional financial burdens on their local communities, UK and Welsh Government funding decisions have left councils in Wales with a significant shortfall in the finances that they have available for the coming year. In such dire economic circumstance, it was inevitable that council tax bills would have to rise in order for councils to meet the costs involved in delivering vital public services.”
Cllr Bob Wellington (Torfaen), WLGA Leader added:
"Local council tax rates are directly related to local government’s ability to deliver front line services such as education and social care, and each and every council in Wales has had to set a council tax rate that will help them to run local public services as effectively as possible. These decisions have not been easy. No local government leader entered office to make cuts or place financial burdens on the communities that they serve, but this round of budget setting has demanded that a balance is struck between protecting communities, and protecting the vital public services that those same communities need and rely upon.”