Inflation-busting council tax increases for 2nd year in a row


Hammersmith & Fulham resident and Liberal Democrat member Alison Hancock sent this letter in. Please read through and help the council understand that this is a bad time to raise taxes on the people of our borough already hurting from the economic repercussions of Brexit and COVID-19. And as always, let us know your thoughts and feedback.

Last year H&F council tax bills increased by a staggering 4.7% and this year it is compounded by a further inflation-busting increase of 4%. The council is being far from transparent about the rises and even imply that this increase reflects a cut by falsely claiming on their website, "this year’s budget sees council tax rise by less than inflation — a real-terms cut”!

The council is hiding the real increase of 4% through the “adult social care precept” line of the council tax bill. Last year on Band F the charge for “adult social care precept” was £21.02, this year the charge is £43.03, which is a whopping 105% increase, yet the bill implies that the rise for this component of the council tax bill is a mere 2%.

The council bill presentation is misleading and far from transparent. The council can charge up to 2% of the H&F component of the bill for adult social care, presenting this absolute number as a % increase from the previous year is misleading.

When you total “adult social care precept” with the H&F component of the council tax bill, the total rise in council tax payable to H&F is 4%, which is considerably higher than current UK inflation rate of 2.5%.

The council used the exact same trick last year to hide the inflation-busting increase of 4.7% to 2019/2020 council tax. In 2019/2020 the council gave the impression that the tax rise was a mere 2.7% rather than the real increase of 4.7% (which included the charge for adult social care).

I appreciate that the council needs to increase taxes to maintain services, BUT be honest with residents about the increases and don’t suggest that they represent a cut — they don’t!

Breakdown of H&F component of council tax bill for Band F (excluding payment to GLA)

H&F Bill

2019/2020

2020/2021

% Increase

H&F

£1,079.68

£1,101.58

2%

Adult social care

£21.02

£43.03

105%

Total

£1,100.7

£1,144.61

4%

 


Share this post on social media:

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Email.