January 26, 2022 8.34 am

North Lincolnshire: Council tax increase ‘morally right’

Higher taxes for social care are ‘morally right’

By Local Democracy Reporter

Taxpayers could face higher costs as the council leader says it is ‘morally right’ that taxes are raised to pay for care.

North Lincolnshire Council’s finances are in a better position than most local authorities, cabinet was told – but there could still need to be tax increases.

The council is legally allowed to raise council tax by up to two per cent this year.

Adult social care tax could go up by one per cent, with an extra one per cent that wasn’t used last year.

The next budget will be agreed at full council in February and come into effect from April.

Council leader Rob Waltham suggested to cabinet that an increase could be planned for adult social care.

“It’s morally right that we pay more tax to support older people in our communities,” he said.

“We have a duty to support people who need it, whether they are children, in the middle of their life or elderly.”

The care sector has seen national shortages during the pandemic, leading to rising costs for local authorities.

Labour Councillor Lorraine Yeadon asked for assurances that care service quality and the number of staff would be at least as high as before the pandemic.

She was told that residents would receive the support they needed.

Each one per cent of rate increase will raise an extra £800,000 in revenue.

Councillor Elaine Marper, the portfolio holder for finance and governance, said North Lincolnshire Council expects to submit a balanced budget for the next financial year.

“These are difficult and unprecedented times, but North Lincolnshire has really held it together. There have been a few jitters in other local authorities, but we were in a good position to start with,” she said.

“Despite the extra cost of adult social care, we have worked to find better ways, working closely with the NHS.

“Borrowing is also expected to remain low.

“We have managed to maximise outcomes in difficult circumstances, leading to the recovery and renewal of North Lincolnshire.”