The top leader of Welsh councils indicated that in certain areas of Wales, council tax might increase by as much as 10%.
This follows the announcement by the Welsh government of a 3.1% increase for councils next year, which falls below the inflation rate.
While Andrew Morgan, leader of the Welsh Local Government Association, appreciated the increase, he expressed concerns that it wouldn’t suffice to safeguard services.
The Welsh Government advised local authorities to keep any potential council tax hikes at a “reasonable level” and mentioned their intention to cap taxes if deemed excessive.
Recent announcements revealed that businesses like pubs, shops, and restaurants would face higher business rates, aiming to allocate more funds to Wales’ struggling health service.
Despite prioritising frontline services such as the NHS and councils, other departments were warned about facing cuts in real terms.
This situation poses tough choices for councils, despite the modest increase in their core funding.
Although the expected 3.1% raise aligns with councils’ predictions, they had previously cautioned that it might result in service reductions, job cuts, and council tax hikes.
Mr. Morgan anticipated council tax increases ranging from 5% to 10% across the 22 local authorities in Wales.
Rebecca Evans, Finance Minister, said that Tuesday’s budget represented “some really difficult decisions to radically redesign our spending plans to focus funding on the services which matter most to the people of Wales”.
She went on to say that it would be “unlikely” that she would cap any council tax rises, but continued to urge restraint.
“We’ve been really clear that the Welsh government can use its powers to cap council tax if it sees a palpably excessive approach from a local authority,”.