Isle of Wight council tax bills look set to rise by up to four per cent again next year. If approved, it will be the eighth year in a row council tax will rise on the Island.
Launching its public budget consultation, the Isle of Wight Council says it is expecting to spend £340 million on services including schools, regeneration and refuse collection.
In the introduction to the survey, it says to keep the services sustainable for the future it is proposing to repeat the 3.99 per cent increase it imposed last year — two per cent, creating around £1.7m, to help provide its services and possibly a further two per cent to fund an ever-growing pressure on the council’s adult social care budget if the government allows it.
The survey asks questions such as what services should the council charge for, whether it should raise council tax by more than two per cent — which would be decided by a referendum — and whether people would be willing to pay the adult social care precept if it increases.
Last year, the increase went up by 3.99 per cent with two per cent going to adult social care.
Isle of Wight Council leader, Cllr Dave Stewart, said the council had managed the budget very robustly over the past few years and were determined to do the same again next year.
He said: “Frontline services have been maintained and improved, with improved efficiencies in many areas. Obviously, this year, we have a different challenge with the coronavirus pandemic that remains ongoing, so we have to plan this into our budget analysis for next year too.”
As part of its medium-term financial plan, £3.5m is needed to be saved in 2021/22 even with an increase of council tax. Potential savings are being identified to balance the books while the budget is still in its outline stages as there are still question-marks over how much funding from the government — an Island Deal, the fair funding review, any other Covid-19 related packages — will be given to the Isle of Wight Council.
It is thought the budget will be put forward at the full council meeting in February.
To take part in the consultation and have your say, go to iow.gov.uk/Council/OtherServices/Financial-Management/Budget-Consultation. The survey will close on January 25.