Breckland Council says tax will still be lowest in country despite small potential rise

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Council tax payers in Breckland could find their bills by going up by as little as 3p or up to 10p a week from April.

Both options or a figure in between were put to the council’s cabinet on Tuesday but the decision will be made at the next council meeting.

However, falling central government funding means we have to think carefully about how we balance our budget going forward and what we want to be able to do in the future

Pablo Dimoglou, Executive Member for Finance, Breckland Council

Whatever the rise, the council says the Breckland tax is expected to remain the lowest in the country.

Cabinet members were told a 2 per cent increase on a Band D property would mean less than 3p a week, or a £5 increase would take it to £78.98 a year. The lower increase would help balance the council budget but leave no extra funding. The higher figure would help to meet a shortfall, and could let the council do more than its statutory duties.

Although the options were based on Band D properties, nearly 80 per cent of residents lived in Band A-C properties and most would see bills rise by less than the 2 per cent or £5, cabinet members were told. A rise was needed because Breckland would receive £3.3m less from the government in 2017-18 than it had in 2010-11.

Pablo Dimoglou, the executive member for finance, said Breckland had avoided making cuts through financial planning and efficiencies and would deliver £2.7m of savings or new income by 2019-20. “However, falling central government funding means we have to think carefully about how we balance our budget going forward and what we want to be able to do in the future. We will always do what we can to can to keep the financial burden off local residents but freezing council tax is not an option, particularly if we want to continue delivering excellent services while having the ability to make new investments and offer non-statutory support such as grants.”