Welsh councils call for clarification over council tax rebate
The Government has reassured council chiefs in Wales that the Welsh government will receive £180m of new funding as a result of the council tax rebate despite a fall in other sources of funding.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced last week that Wales will receive an extra £180m as part of a Council Tax Rebate plan to help residents with the impending rise in energy bills.
The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) has written to the UK Treasury asking for clarification on whether local authorities in Wales are likely to receive the new funding due to funding cuts elsewhere.
‘Whilst the Chancellor has announced a support package aimed at helping families in England, it remains unclear whether hard-hit families in Wales will receive any support,’ said WLGA leader Cllr Andrew Morgan (Rhondda Cynon Taf).
‘People across Wales deserve, and are awaiting, certainty. Why should hard working Welsh families be deprived of the support pledged by the UK Government to England?
‘We have written to the UK Treasury seeking urgent clarity on whether or not Wales will actually see an extra £175m as indications now suggest there will be no Barnett consequence due to other departmental spending changes in England.’
A spokesperson for the Government responded that the Welsh government will receive the extra funding from the council tax rebate scheme.
‘The Welsh Government will receive £180m of Barnett consequentials as a result of the council tax rebate announced by the Chancellor. This is new funding for the Welsh Government,’ they said.
The Government admitted that the Barnett consequentials – how much money the devolved governments will be allocated by the UK Government – have fallen due to decreases in the amount of health service funding in England.
However, it stressed that this decrease in funding was unconnected to the council tax rebate.