Tax payers in South Tyneside face a hike in their household bill come April – after borough councillors voted to increase council tax by 3.95%.
The increase, which includes a 2% government levy to go towards adult social care costs, was voted through by full council last night, during a final budget meeting at Jarrow Town Hall.
We have to make tough and necessary decisions for the hard times that we face. Cuts, unfairness and inequality have become the hallmark of this Tory governmentCoun Ed Malcolm
The rise means that those living in Band A properties will be paying an extra £34.67 a year to help the cash-strapped council slash its revenue budget by £14million in the coming year, as it struggles to protect front-line services it is legally required to provide.
Coun Ed Malcolm, Lead Member for Resources and Innovation, told the meeting that setting the 2016/17 budget had been difficult, and that the consequences of the savings the council have been forced to make, will be felt for years to come.
He said: “We have to make tough and necessary decisions for the hard times that we face. Cuts, unfairness and inequality have become the hallmark of this Tory government.
“This Labour council can and is making a difference.
“We are trying to protect the most vulnerable in the face of a vicious, right-wing government.
No matter the scale of change, we will always endeavour to safeguard services, safeguard jobs wherever possible and promote innovation and growth.”
Over the past six years, South Tyneside Council has delivered £126million of savings, against a backdrop of funding cuts by the government since 2010 alongside an increased demand for council services in areas including adult social care.