Council tax rise of nearly 5% set to be agreed

Enfield Civic Centre
Enfield Civic Centre

Sixth successive year of tax increases in Enfield likely to be agreed, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Council tax bills could rise by nearly £100 for band D properties in Enfield if planned increases go ahead.

A 4.99% rise in council tax was approved by the borough’s top decision-makers at a cabinet meeting this week. It is made up of a 1.99% rise in core tax and a 3% increase in a levy used to fund adult social care.

City Hall wants to hike its share of council tax by more than 9% – but there is a question mark over whether this will go ahead after the Mayor of London’s budget was voted down by members of the London Assembly in January.

Taken together, the rises would push band D bills up by £99.63 in 2021-22, to £1,795.47.

Enfield Council set out plans to invest £560,000 in adults and children’s services in its budget for the coming financial year, including £260,000 for extra social workers.

There is £150,000 of planned investment in the housing repairs and maintenance budget, along with £350,000 towards funding the council’s IT service.

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Speaking during the meeting, Mary Maguire, cabinet member for finance, said the budget was designed to protect the most vulnerable people in the borough. She claimed the government’s decision to allow council tax to increase amounted to a “Covid tax” on the residents of Enfield.

Cllr Maguire also warned of uncertainty over the amount of council tax that would be collected following a 163% rise in unemployment in the borough during the first half of 2020.

Council leader Nesil Caliskan said: “We have set a balanced budget once again, but we have also set a good budget that deliver the policies and the commitments we have made to the residents of Enfield.”

The leader added that the council would continue to deliver services for those who are most in need and “invest in those services that will help support all our communities in what is quite a difficult period ahead”.

If the budget is approved by full council later this month, the tax increase will take effect from April. It would be the sixth year in a row that council tax has risen, with increases of at least 4% in each of the last five years.

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