Greater Manchester: Council tax is set to rise even further

Andy Burnham has announced he will freeze one part of the council tax bill, but the Greater Manchester mayor will ask for more money for the police and fire service.

The proposal would see all taxpayers in the city-region contribute at least £234.16 a year towards services the Labour mayor is responsible for.

He has proposed a 7 per cent increase in the part of the bills which goes towards the fire service, blaming ‘record high inflation and energy costs’. This means Band A households.

This accounts for more than 44 per cent of properties in Greater Manchester – which would pay £47.47 towards the fire service through council tax.

However, the mayor’s general council tax precept – which contributes towards the emergency accommodation for rough sleepers and public transport – would be frozen, remaining at £21.16 for Band A properties next year. It comes after the Greater Manchester mayor announced earlier this month that he would ask for an extra £10 at least from all taxpayers to help fund the police.

This means that the total increase in council tax set by Mr Burnham would be £13.33 a year for Band A properties and £20 for Band D properties from April. Local authorities will set the bulk of the council tax bill in the coming months.

Announcing the proposal, Mr Burnham explained what the money would be spent on. He said: “For the coming year, I have frozen my general precept – and kept the fire increase to the minimum necessary – because I fully appreciate the severe impact the cost of living crisis is having on our residents.

“Like everyone else, our Fire and Rescue Service is facing pressure from high inflation and energy costs. The government has failed to insulate our service from these pressures and that is why we have been forced into this small increase to maintain service levels.

“While I have frozen my general precept, I will continue to do what I can to help people through the cost of living crisis. That is why we are maintaining the £2 cap on bus fares – at least until September – and supporting our young people with the Our Pass.

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“With more people at risk of rough sleeping, we will also ensure our A Bed Every Night scheme has enough funding to help everyone who needs a safe place to find one.”

The mayoral council tax precepts are set be approved by Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Police, Fire and Crime panel later this week. Local authorities will set their own parts of the council tax bill in the coming months.

The govenrment has been offered an opportunity to respond to Mr Burnham’s comments.

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