Sheffield city councillors to set 2016/17 budget with proposed 3.99 per cent tax increase

City councillors will today (Friday, March 4) decide whether or not to increase tax rates by almost four per cent.

Friday, 4th March 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 4th March 2016, 12:01 pm
Sheffield Town Hall

City councillors will today decide whether or not to increase tax rates by almost four per cent.

Sheffield Council’s budget for 2016/17 will be set at a meeting starting at 2pm. The proposal is to increase tax by the maximum 3.99 per cent allowed by the Government before a referendum is needed, which would be split into a 1.99 per cent increase to the city council precept and a two per cent national arrangement to pay for social care.

This will equate to an extra 66p per week for people in the lowest council tax bracket.

Parish council precepts will also bet set, as well as fire and police rates. Currently, both Ecclesfield and Stocksbridge have proposed an increase of three per cent, while Bradfield has proposed a two per cent rise.

As many as 400 council jobs may have to go as council leaders try to find £50m in savings to deal with cuts in Government funding. The latest round of Government cuts mean £350m has been slashed from Sheffield Council’s budget in the last six years.

The full budget report can be read at the Sheffield Council website.

The council’s Green Party group will propose an alternative budget during today’s meeting. Coun Rob Murphy said: “This is a positive and forward-looking budget that will bring real benefits to the health, homes and pockets of Sheffield’s residents if adopted. Our proposals would bring a safer, cleaner and more vibrant city for all it’s residents.”

And the UKIP group will call for a 10 per cent cut to council salaries over £100,000, a five per cent cut in councillors’ basic allowance and a 10 per cent cut in extra allowances for special responsibilities such as chairing committees.

Group leader Coun Jack Clarkson said: “This proposal is about making it clear that the council must not be immune from the savings it is imposing on others, and should set an example by taking this pay cut. UKIP believes in putting the people first, and bringing back free train travel for those who lost it two years ago is just one example of that belief being put into practice. Not only will this help to tackle the terrible problems of loneliness and isolation, but also bring benefits for the city’s cultural and economic development.”

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