One per cent council tax rise planned by Tower Hamlets

The Mayor John Biggs Pic: Tower Hamlets Council

Tower Hamlets Council is looking to raise its portion of council tax by one per cent over the next financial year, it was confirmed last week. 

The council’s budget proposals for 2022/23 were finalised at a cabinet meeting on January 18, with Mayor John Biggs officially announcing them on Sunday. 

As a part of the proposals, the authority is set to freeze their portion of council tax. However, a one per cent raise has been allocated as a part of the government’s Adult Social Care precept, which allows councils who provide social care to their adults to raise their council tax accordingly. 

This would result in a Band D property – determined by the government’s Valuation Office Agency – paying around 91p more per month for their council tax, raising around £1.2 million extra for the council, according to their report.

The council also proposed that no changes will be made to their council tax reduction scheme, which remains one of the only such schemes in London that allows residents up to a 100 per cent discount on their council tax. 

Mayor John Biggs said: “Residents are facing massive uncertainty and pressures on their household budgets. We recognise this and that is why we are proposing to freeze our portion of council tax this year to give respite at a time when energy and food prices are rising and the impact of the cut to Universal Credit is being felt.

“We are however proposing a one per cent increase to the Adult Social Care precept in order to fund vital social care services. The government expects us to make this increase to pay for the care costs of our most vulnerable residents.”

Other parts of the budget proposals include promises to invest in council services such as waste and recycling to “meet the demands of more people working from home”, protect funding for council funded police officers and protect council funded free school meals for 19,000 families. 

The budget proposals also leave just over five million in surplus funds to be allocated to ‘one off projects’. 

Due to ‘funding uncertainties’, the council have only set a one-year budget. 

The proposals will go forward for full council approval on March 2. 

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