LEWISHAM and Greenwich councils agreed to increase council tax bills by 4.99 per cent but fears were aired it will not cover social care costs.
Both borough’s council tax rates and budgets were set for the coming year starting in April at town hall meetings held last night. In line with the Government’s request council tax is to increase by 3 per cent to cover the increasing demand to fund adult social care and a further 1.99 per cent for inflation in both boroughs.
Councillor Alan Hall, who seconded executive Mayor Sir Steve Bullock’s budget told the full meeting of Lewisham council that finance officers have advised that the council “will still have £10 to 11 million shortfall in our existing social care budget.”
Referring to Millwall football fan’s famous slogan, he said: “No-one likes us we don’t care – that is not the motto of the London Borough of Lewisham. We will be increasing local taxes on residents and businesses will be paying more as the Government cuts our overall budget. There is a perfect storm. We will be raising taxes whilst reducing services.”
The leader of the Labour group at the council, said: “We do care: That’s why we are increasing Council tax by the 4.99% including the social care precept. There is a social care crisis in this country.”
Cllr Kevin Bonavia, the cabinet member for resources, said: “We will continue to urge the Government not to simply rely on councils to increase council tax, but to provide fairer funding for councils and the vital services that our residents rely on, particularly adult social care.”
“The Government’s decision to cut Lewisham’s funding by 63% over 10 years has placed huge pressure on our finances and our…
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