Sheffield council tax set to rise by nearly five per cent

Council tax in Sheffield is set to rise by 4.99 per cent
Council tax in Sheffield is set to rise by 4.99 per cent
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Council tax in Sheffield is to rise by nearly five per cent – to help pay for adult social care.

Finance chiefs are set to increase the tax by 4.99 per cent – just below the five per cent threshold which would trigger a referendum.

Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield Town Hall

Part of the increase includes a three per cent rise to fund adult social care.

Around £4 million from the council’s reserves will be used to help balance the books.

The council, which brought a four year council tax freeze to an end last year, is considering the near five per cent increase mainly to offset a deficit in adult social care.

The rise will mean a Sheffield property in band D, valued between £68,001 to £88,000, will pay an extra £78.90 a year.

And the overall figure will rise when South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue release their own council tax precept.

The plans follow Rotherham and Barnsley councils which have both announced identical tax increases as local authorities across the country battle cuts from central Government.

The Government has said it wants to phase out all grants from Whitehall to local authorities by 2020 and for councils to support themselves through charges, council tax and business rates income.

Sheffield Council leaders have also warned as many as 400 jobs may have to go as they try to find £50m in savings to deal with cuts.

Sheffield residents said they were happy an extra three per cent of council tax on adult social care – but urged finance bosses to show where the money goes.

Richard Lee, aged 35, from Nether Edge, said: “In principle, I would pay a bit more but I’d want to know how the council would spend this money and not for it to be frittered away into a black hole.

“I do think it’s inevitable that something like this is on the horizon – it’s high on the agenda and people are more aware than ever councils have less money due to cuts.”

Joan Hovey, 76, from Handsworth, said it was a ‘brilliant idea’.

She said “Old people have worked really hard all their lives and the most vulnerable in our city deserve it. I think we have a moral duty to pay a bit more.

“I was most upset to read about Hurlfield View being closed down and we need services like these to stay open and hopefully the extra cash can help people who use places like this.”

Susan Roberts, 59, from Grenoside, said: “The older people don’t have much, they’ve worked hard and deserve something back. I don’t mind paying it but I’d like to know exactly how the money is spent.”

Sheila Hall, 80, from Ranmoor said: “I agree with the three per cent rise. These people are the most vulnerable and we have to help them.”

However, one woman who didn’t wish to be named said: “I wouldn’t be happy to pay more – my bills are forever going up and working people are struggling to make ends meet. It sounds harsh but what can you do?”

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