Plans to raise Council Tax in Sunderland by almost 4% to be discussed

Sunderland Civic Centre.
Sunderland Civic Centre.

Plans to raise Council Tax for Sunderland residents by almost 4% - a move which could raise almost £100million - will be discussed next week.

An increase of 3.99% is being proposed by the authority, a proposal which was first outlined in November as part of council budget planning.

Councillor Paul Stewart.

Councillor Paul Stewart.

It is now tabled and will be formalised at next week's City Council Cabinet meeting at Sunderland Civic Centre on Wednesday, February 13.

The rise would be an increase of 70p a week for the majority of households in Sunderland who are in a Band A property.

For a Band D property it is £1.04 per week.

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Council tax for 2019/2020 is due to raise 15 pence in every pound of the council’s income as the majority of its spending is grants from Central Government.

This year's 3.99% Council Tax increase is expected to raise £99.6million towards a budget of £651.4million.

One per cent of the increase is the adult social care precept that goes towards funding services such as help with eating, washing, dressing or domestic routines such as cleaning and going to the shops.

These services are provided to nearly 3,800 Sunderland adults who have disabilities or illnesses.

Councillor Paul Stewart, the council's cabinet secretary, said: "We are receiving less and less money from Government - more than £290million has been saved or raised locally as income since 2010.

"Demand is increasing for council services and the money available isn’t keeping pace.

"While we re-shape and review services wherever possible, and look to longer-term investments which can help increase our wealth and health, the council cannot do everything that it used to do.

"This is because Government has been progressively shifting the burden of local service payments onto local tax payers.

"The council has and continues to work hard reviewing, improving and making itself more efficient, but the depth and scale of the Government reductions have had an impact on our city and what the council can do.

"What we will always continue to do, is protect our most vulnerable residents."

A final decision on the council tax will be made at the council's budget meeting on Wednesday, March 6.