Hammersmith and Fulham to freeze their portion of Council Tax

The London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council has announced plans to freeze their portion of Council Tax in response to the cost of living crisis. The Labour-led authority says it will keep Council Tax rates the same, after an increase of more than £70 last year.

The portion of the Council Tax which is set by the Mayor of London is set to rise by an average of £31.93 to cover the huge hole in funding for Transport for London caused by the pandemic.

In addition to freezing their part, LB Hammersmith & Fulham announced plans to invest £7.4 million in services, including more than £5 million on adult social care and public health. This will be supported by cutting £4.85 million from services such as environment and children’s services.

The Council Tax rate in the borough is currently £1,195.62 for band D properties, the band which most properties in the borough fall into.

This is the third lowest rate of council tax of any authority in the country, after Wandsworth and Westminster.

Neighbouring boroughs Hounslow and Ealing have proposed an increase of almost 3% increase in Council Tax recently. Hounslow Council said the rise:

‘will represent the cornerstone of a robust post-pandemic recovery plan to protect vital services, while allowing the council to strengthen its commitment to making Hounslow fairer, greener and stronger’.

Hammersmith & Fulham freeze ‘will ease burden’ on taxpayers

A report by LB Hammersmith & Fulham’s council officers confirmed they are proposing the freeze of Council Tax rates in light of the rising cost of living. The report said:

‘a tax freeze will provide a balanced budget whilst not increasing the burden on local taxpayers.’

There are 92,148 households in Hammersmith and Fulham, and just over half are liable for full Council Tax rates while the rest receive support or discounts from the council.

The Council’s gross budget for 2022/23 is £533.5 million; it needs to fund £160.4 million of this through income streams such as Council Tax and business rates.

Central government is expected to give the council £44.45 million from April, an increase of £6.2 million from last year.

English councils are allowed to charge an extra amount of Council Tax to go towards social care known as the adult social care precept. Hammersmith and Fulham council is not planning to charge a 1% increase in these fees, as it is allowed to do under UK Government outlines.

The Council’s cabinet will discuss the authority’s budget and Council Tax rates on Thursday 24 February.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Hounslow announces almost 3% increase in Council Tax

See also: David Juritz stands for Green party in local elections

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