March 6, 2022 7.00 am

‘Enough is enough’: Council tax should have been frozen says North Lincolnshire Labour group

Taxpayers face a 0.89% rise

By Local Democracy Reporter

Council tax shouldn’t have risen at all for North Lincolnshire residents this year, the Labour group says.

It claims the soaring cost of living means taxpayers should have been spared an increase.

Their ‘unprecedented’ proposal would have seen it frozen until 2023, with a two per cent increase for the adult social care precept.

The Conservative group passed a budget to raise council tax by 0.89%.

Labour leader Councillor Len Foster told the North Lincolnshire Council budget meeting at The Pods that ‘enough was enough’ when it came to a squeeze on living standards.

“The Labour Party’s amendment is unprecedented, in that we at a local government level firmly believe in progressive structured financial management of the council’s resources, and would normally be supportive of increases at or around government permitted level,” Councillor Foster said.

“But we are not in normal times.

“The cost of living is increasing at an uncontrolled rate. Inflation is out of control.

“Presently national statistics claim 5.5% but everyone knows it is far higher, and the Bank of England predict a 7% rate before next year’s council tax bills arrive in residents letter boxes.

“Enough is enough. Sometime, somewhere, someone has to call a halt to this attack on the living standards of the majority of people in this country.”

He said that the Labour group reluctantly backed an increase to pay for social care, saying the government had failed to adequately fund it.

“With reference to the proposed 2% increase in the social care levy, we will with a degree of reluctance be supporting that level of increase. We need to look after our own community where we can because this government is no going to do it for us,” he said.

“Our reluctant support is born out of total frustration with government broken promises to fix this ever-increasing problem.”

Other Labour councillors said more help was needed for working people.

Councillor Lorraine Yeadon : “Most people will have noticed the difference in the money they have in their pocket but for many people in North Lincolnshire, they may be really, really struggling by the time we get to May.

“Any council tax rebates, and energy company loans will be wiped out several times over by other increased costs.”

Councillor Mashook Ali said: “North Lincolnshire is home to some of the most deprived communities in England. We have for a long time suffered and continue to suffer.

“The hardships our communities face have been exacerbated by high prices, high fuel costs and now this cost-of-living crisis; people are now having to literally to choose between eating and staying warm.”

Council leader Rob Waltham, the leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said that the Conservatives had put forward an “inflation-busting budget recognises that people are feeling the pinch through global inflation, while still enabling the council to prioritise the most vulnerable people here in North Lincolnshire”.

He claimed the budget’s investment would allow communities to recover quicker from the coronavirus pandemic’s impact.