Nottingham City Council budget debate, 2016.
Cllr. Graham Chapman holds up what he calls the “graph of injustice”, showing higher cuts in national support for councils serving people with higher levels of deprivation.
The degree of correlation is very high.
And Nottingham has suffered badly.
An average of the settlements in the last 5 years, applied to Nottingham, of £34.5m more, means that nearly all of the extra money raised in Council tax (£12.9m) and business rates (£25m) goes to paying for the preference shown to the wealthier areas.
An increase in national support is needed to meet the extra costs associated with an aging society, needing more care services. The extra 2% Council tax allowed for – nay, exprected by – George Osborne doesn’t even meet next year’s extra costs.
Meanwhile, the Council has again raised Council tax by just under 2% to mitigate cuts in services a much as possible. A practice that many councils who took previous one-year incentives to not increase Council taxes are now regreting, cos their tax base is too low to meet the demand that is required to be met. Indeed, transition funds – mainly going to wealthier areas – has been set up by government to help those councils over the next 2 years. Another injustice.
Nevertheless, £20.5m of savings have to be found.