Barnet’s Labour councillors announced their alternative budget at last night’s Full Council meeting (1 March). Labour’s fully costed alternative budget included:
  • Freeze on general council tax in 2022/3.
  • Rebate of the Conservative’s 1% council tax increase(social care precept).
  • £5 million additional investment in social care ring-fenced from reserves.
  • Funding to introduce Community Safety Hubs in 5 wards, with plans to roll-out a Hub in every ward over the following 3 years.
  • Funding to bring back the popular quarterly Community Skip service so residents can plan disposal of bulky items throughout the year.
  • Funding for 1,000 new genuinely affordable council homes.
  • £250,000 reactive pothole and pavement repair fund.
  • Funding for a Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change & Biodiversity, to work in partnership with residents, community groups and businesses on priorities to tackle the climate emergency.
Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said:
“At the last local election Barnet’s Conservatives promised to keep council tax low, but they hiked it up by the legal maximum every year for the last three years.
“This year they have decided to increase council tax again, right at a time when so many low and middle-income families are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
“This crisis is a real crisis that is having devastating effects on local people with an increase in poverty, more people in fuel poverty, greater rent arrears, more evictions, longer queues at food banks, and more closed businesses on our high streets.
 

“Council tax is a regressive tax. It does not reflect true variations in income and wealth, and it hits people on low and middle incomes the hardest.

“So, to help residents with the cost-of-living crisis this year, we have found additional savings to re-fund that 1% increase back to Barnet’s council taxpayers. Giving back over £2million pounds to Barnet residents.

“A Labour Council in Barnet will prioritise the things local people care about; community safety, tackling environmental neglect and the climate emergency, building genuinely affordable homes, protecting services for the vulnerable and helping struggling families with the cost-of-living crisis.”

For a copy of the Barnet Labour councillors’ alternative budget see:

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