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Friday, April 12, 2024
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Council Tax in Harrow to rise by nearly five percent as figures reveal cost of Covid-19

Council tax in Harrow is going to rise by 4.99 per cent next year, as figures reveal that covid has cost the borough 36.4 million pounds.

Analysis of the Local Government Finance Settlement reveals a whopping £2 billion Conservative Council Tax bombshell for English taxpayers – An increase of £9,035,459 in Harrow.

This is to pay for the £7.4 billion blackhole across the country and the massive bill COVID has cost Harrow during the pandemic.

Cllr Adam Swersky, Portfolio Holder for Finance said: “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Harrow residents. Throughout this pandemic, the Council has stepped in to do whatever it takes to help residents and businesses to get through it.

“The government told us back in March that they would have our backs with the funding that we needed. They’ve failed to keep that promise. Now Rishi Sunak is making Harrow residents pay for his failure to fund councils properly.

“No matter what, Harrow Council will always be there for our residents and businesses. We will continue to fight for you to get the support you need.”

Coronavirus alone has cost Harrow Council an additional £36.4 million in 2020, yet in today’s Local Government Finance Settlement the government has announced that the council’s spending power will increase by just £9.7 million
Most of this, 93.0%, will come from local council tax rises – £2bn across the country, with the government announcing that local council tax should raise an extra £9 million in Harrow.

The Chairman of the Local Government Association responded to the Local Government Finance Settlement by saying: “More than 85 per cent of the potential core funding increase [of councils] next year is dependent on councils increasing council tax by up to 5 per cent next year.

“This falls short of the sustainable, long-term funding that is needed so councils can improve the services our communities and local economies will rely on as we move towards the next phase of the pandemic.

“We continue to push for a multi-year settlement in future, a solution to the adult social care funding crisis, and for new sources of council finances”

Publishing the analysis Leader of the Council Graham Henson said: “After a dreadful 2020, the Conservatives revealed their plans for 2021 – a £2bn council tax bombshell and cuts to local services. Pay more, get less. That’s a real kick in the guts for the people of Harrow.

“This government can apparently afford billions in public money for their friends who have got rich off the back of COVID, yet when it comes to Harrow suddenly they tell us the cupboard is bare. Instead of giving us the support we need – a tiny fraction of the fortune we now know they have doled out in dodgy contracts – they are forcing cuts to local services like social care and smashing residents with a £9 million council tax hike for the privilege.  

“All we want in Harrow is our fair share. The Conservatives promised to stand behind our community in tackling COVID£36.4 million already this year – but now they are nowhere to be seen, leaving us with a giant blackhole.

“Once again the Conservatives have shown the people of Harrow what their priorities really are – and it’s not us.”