Joint Statement by the Plaid Cymru and Independent Democratic groups at Neath Port Talbot Council.
Neath Port Talbot Budget 2022
Opposition parties at Neath Port Talbot Council are calling for the council to consider a cut in Council Tax to help the people of the county with the cost of living crisis.
Neath Port Talbot has the third highest council tax in Wales.
The council is considering a freeze on Council Tax this year but the Plaid Cymru and Independent Democrat groups of councillors want to go further.
Plaid Cymru leader Councillor Alun Llewelyn said:
“Plaid Cymru proposed a freeze in council tax last year when the county was suffering from the Covid pandemic but the Labour group wouldn’t agree and raised it again.
We have had one of the highest council taxes in Wales every year for over a quarter of a century, and at the same time services have been cut. We need fairness for all our communities.
We are analysing the budget figures. Neath Port Talbot has reserves of £20million and there will also be an underspend of over £6million this year, so it is possible to give something back to the people.
It is possible to consider reducing the council tax and invest in our communities and services.”
Cllr Scott Jones, Leader of Independent Democratic Group, said
“The Independent Group have held meetings with officers and feel that the council should be doing more to help residents across our County Borough at this time. The Welsh Government has provided the best settlement received for many years which when added to additional payments due to Covid-19, this has resulted in a possible £6M underspend and kept reserves at a similar level to where they were prior to the Pandemic in early 2020.
The last two years have been by far the worst for many generations for residents and we the Independent Democratic Group believe that at this time we should do all that we can to try and reduce Council Tax payments and stop years of increases levied upon them by such Labour administration(s)
Any proposals that are put will be fully fundable, robust and therefore we are confident any reduction would not have a detrimental effect on any of the front-line services provided by NPTCBC and would still leave the level of reserves above the suggested 4% figure which has been explained to members.”
Councillor Martyn Peters said:
“The council tax payers in this area need a break. They have been clobbered for years with this huge underspend. I really hope the council tax can be reduced and I will be calling for this to be considered at the council meeting”
Opposition councillors will debate the figures further in the Scrutiny Committee and bring proposals to the Council’s budget meeting.
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