Barnet Labour agree a low tax budget that delivers a safer, cleaner and greener borough.

Approach contrasts with chaotic Tory gamble with residents’ services.

Barnet Labour has delivered a low tax budget that protects and improves residents’ services, for a safer, cleaner, greener borough.

Leader of Barnet Council, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: “I am proud that Barnet Labour is delivering a low tax budget that delivers on residents’ priorities for a safer, cleaner, greener borough that helps to tackle climate change and cares for the vulnerable and those most in need.

“We have saved where we can and limited our council tax charge to one of the lowest in London while ensuring we show the care our people, places and planet deserve.

“The contrast with the Conservatives cannot be starker. The Tories have offered an irresponsible-Liz Truss style tax policy, leaving working out the cuts and the damage they would cause for Barnet residents. It is a recipe for chaos and a work of fiction.”

The budget was passed at a meeting of Barnet’s full council on 28th February 2023.

As a result, Barnet’s council tax will be lower than any of its neighbouring boroughs.

The surrounding councils with the highest council tax are both Conservative-run. Harrow will charge Band D households £2,162.80 next year including Greater London Authority (GLA) precept, and Hertsmere will charge £2,075.93 for a Band D household. Barnet by contrast will limit council tax for Band D ratepayers to £1,836.16 when the GLA precept is included.

Barnet’s 3.8 per cent rise of 99p per week at Band D makes the borough only one of five local authorities across London who are not raising council tax by the maximum allowed without a local referendum (4.99 per cent). As a result, Barnet will rise from the 16th cheapest council tax in London to the 14th cheapest in London.

Due to careful budgeting and more than £11million in savings and new income, Barnet Labour will continue to deliver its programme of a safer cleaner borough that tackles climate change and supports the poorest.

This will include:

Major investment in upgrading the CCTV system so residents feel safer
Ensuring all five of the planned community safety hubs are rolled-out as part of a first step to transforming how residents can connect to council services
Providing the promised free community skips service
Protecting weekly bin collections
Calling a Citizens Assembly on Net Zero, so we can tackle climate change together
£9m support package for those residents suffering the most from the Conservative cost of living crisis that includes the £2m Barnet Resident Support Fund, as well as Council Tax Relief and Housing Payments.

This contrasts with the Conservatives’ irresponsible Liz Truss style budget proposal.

The Conservatives have decided on a council tax rise of 2% – which also requires 100 staff redundancies – but will not say where the axe will fall.

The result would be gambling with the services of residents already grappling with the Conservative cost of living crisis exacerbated by Liz Truss’s disaster budget.

For more information about the Household Support Fund from Barnet Council please contact your child’s school, childcare setting or health visitor.

The 2022 Barnet Labour Manifesto can be found here.

Information on Barnet Resident Support Fund for those who a struggling in the cost-of-living crisis can be found here.

Questions for Barnet Conservatives:

Barnet Conservatives’ budget – like the Liz Truss budget that causes chaos – proposes an unrealistic tax policy but does not say how they will pay for it. Will they say where the unspecified £5.3million in necessary savings will be found, and what the likely effect on services would be?
National Conservatives’ confrontational approach to workplace relations has led to the Royal College of Nurses going on strike for the first time in its history and more strike days in 2022 than for 30 years. What do Barnet Conservatives think the effect of attacking our employees’ trade union voice, cutting 100 jobs and reducing staff training would be?
Barnet Conservatives claim that the Mayor’s ULEZ charge – which shifts the cost of the worst car pollution from all residents to those who cause the pollution – has not received enough consultation. They want to spend £100,000 of Barnet taxpayers’ money – whether they drive or not – in the court to say so. They also claim that the Barnet’s Citizen Assembly on how we reach Net Zero is too much consultation. For the Conservatives there’s always either too much or too little consultation, which is it?

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