Senedd motion on staggering council tax rises in Wales

Senedd motion on staggering council tax rises in Wales

Across Wales, Councils are finalising their budgets for 2024-2025. Of the councils that have published proposed council tax rates for the next financial year, the average planned rise is over 7.7%. Pembrokeshire County Council has consulted on a local rate rise of up to 25%.

Despite these proposed council tax rises, Councils in Wales are sitting on over £2.75 billion in useable reserves, all whilst hardworking people are hit with higher bills. It’s clear that the Welsh Government’s Local government funding formula is not fit for purpose. Instead of funding our fantastic local councils, the Welsh Government are more interested in their vanity projects of blanket 20mph, more politicians, and a universal basic income.

In the Senedd next Wednesday (24/01/24), the Welsh Conservatives are bringing forward a Senedd motion to highlight the staggering council tax rises facing hardworking people in Wales, but also call for local referendums if councils propose council tax increases of more than 5%, whilst commissioning an independent review of the Welsh local government funding formula.

Commenting ahead of the debate, Welsh Conservative Shadow Local Government Minister, Sam Rowlands MS said:

“The council tax rises we are seeing put forward in Wales are going to put a huge amount of stress on hardworking people.

“Councils go above and beyond to deliver for residents, but at a time when household budgets are stretched as a result of global pressures, people across Wales must be protected from massive council tax rises.

“That’s why I’m delighted to be leading our Welsh Conservative debate to call on the Welsh Government to properly fund councils, set a cap on council tax rises and require councils to hold a referendum if they want to raise local rates by more.”

The motion which will be debated on Wednesday reads:

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Recognises the vital role that councils play in delivering public services across Wales and the funding challenges they face.

2. Acknowledges that the Welsh Government is receiving record levels of funding from the UK Government.

3. Notes that councils have over £2.75 billion in useable reserves.

4. Regrets that councils are consulting on council tax rises of up to 25 per cent for the 2024-2025 financial year.

5. Calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) commission an independent review of the Welsh local government funding formula;

b) work with local authorities to use their useable reserves to keep council tax as low as possible; and

c) require any local authority proposing a council tax rise of over 5 per cent to hold a local referendum and obtain a yes vote before implementing the proposed rise.

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