Southwark Liberal Democrat councillors have put forward plans this week to stop Labour’s unfair 4.99% council tax rise and cuts to vital social care services.
The ruling Labour administration is proposing as part of its budget to raise council tax for all Southwark residents by 4.99% this year. Council tax is an unfair way to raise revenue as it is not based on people’s income but where their home is.
The Council’s budget also includes £4.25m of cuts to frontline services for Southwark’s elderly and disabled residents and those with learning disabilities. The cuts include day centre closures, reductions in personal budgets and respite care, and help with transport and equipment for those in need will be slashed.
In their alternative budget proposals, Southwark Liberal Democrats will set out plans to:
- stop Labour’s council tax rise and cuts to key frontline services
- balance the books instead by reducing council waste, increasing fees for developers and making polluters pay
Liberal Democrats will also propose a 4.99% cut to the pay bill for senior councillors with the money used instead to support the Southwark voluntary sector’s work with refugees, migrants and EU citizens. This follows a rise in hate crimes across London since the EU referendum result last June.
Councillor Anood Al-Samerai, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition in Southwark, said:
“Liberal Democrats want to stop Labour’s unfair council tax increase and protect Southwark’s most vulnerable residents from Labour’s cuts.
“Council tax most hits those who can least afford it and takes no account of people’s ability to pay. Household bills are rising and incomes are predicted start falling soon, so this above-inflation council tax hike is wrong.
“Labour are also being hypocritical. They say they need to raise council tax to protect adult social care. But at the same time they are cutting £4.25million from frontline adult care services in Southwark.
“Liberal Democrats will keep fighting residents’ corner. We will reduce council waste and councillor pay, and make developers and polluters pay instead of all residents. There is no need for Labour’s unfair council tax rise.”