Cardiff Council increases taxes by 5%

Lee Canning - Tax payers’ alliance Wales coordinator

Lee Canning – Tax payers’ alliance Wales coordinator

Cardiff Council have decided to increase their taxes by 5%. Up until Friday they were considering a 3.7% increase in council taxes. This increase in council tax represents an additional charge of £50 for residents paying the lowest tax rates and £150 for residents paying the highest tax rates.

Labour Councillor Chris Weaver, the cabinet member for finance, modernization and performance says that they are not getting enough cash from the central government to cover the demands of the city and the need to put their core services first, so the only way to balance the budget is by increasing taxes.

Labour councillor Chris Weaver, cabinet member for finance, modernisation and performance

Labour councillor Chris Weaver, cabinet member for finance, modernisation and performance

Councillor Chris Weaver said that the budget that they have announced will go towards investing in different important projects that will help improve the life of residents in Cardiff. They plan to invest £294 million in a school program over the next few years and rebuild schools across Cardiff that need to be renovated. There is also another major plan to build more than a 1,000 council houses. Major projects will be invested in, along with maintaining the core services. There will be extra cash for schools and social services that aim at helping the most vulnerable people. Extra filling for pot holes, payment repairs and other core services that people rely on will also be part of the budget.

Cardiff Tax Increase

Cardiff Tax Increase

On the other hand, the tax payers’ alliance argue that there is other more effective ways to save money without pressuring people that are already suffering with their finances. Yesterday, The tax payers alliance held their final installment of their campaign against the increase in taxes in Queen Street, Cardiff City Center. The campaigners called upon residents of Cardiff to call their local councilors and ask them to reconsider their decisions. The alliance say that the increase in taxes roughly translates to £50 per house hold, which is equivalent to the low tax rate increase, and that itself is close to the weekly shop for some of the most impoverished people in Cardiff.

According to Councillor Chris Weaver the tax increase is about a £1.05 for the average tax payer. The councilors were able to save £14 million this year, however, with the increase in expenditure on schools and other social services that have risen above the percentage, they have to raise the taxes by 5%.

Cardiff Tax Increase

Cardiff Tax Increase

The taxpayers alliance Wales coordinator Lee Canning said that the chief executive of Cardiff is paid over a £208,000 a year and that there’s over 16 people working in Cardiff council earning over £100,000 a year. He says that these are people doing middle management jobs that in the private sector are only paid around £50,000. Lee Canning says “these employees are being over paid so if we can strip these managerial positions and cutting millions of pounds that are being spent on unnecessary projects we can be saving a lot.”  Additionally £275,000 is being spent on a website that promotes jobs and training when there is already a website that does that. £180 million is being spent to build a bus stop which they already had but they decided to sell the land and demolished the bus stop.

The council has claimed that they have strained budget but they do not take into consideration that people paying the taxes have budgets that are equally strained and that it is going to come down to people to either feed themselves or pay their taxes.

Cardiff Tax Increase

Cardiff Tax Increase

The councilor however does not see the tax payers’ alliance solutions as a realistic decision giving the extremely difficult budgets. Despite that, the Tax payers’ alliance will continue to call on councilors and share out leaflets until a solution is found, in the hope that local electorates hold the councilors responsible in the future. They want to ensure that the councilors of today are held accountable for the tax payers of the future particularly the impoverished ones to ensure that this regressive tax is not passed on in two weeks.

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