Relatively good news for Birmingham residents, who once again see a below-inflation Council Tax increase of just 1.9 per cent, for the fourth year running, 1.2 per cent below the latest Consumer Prices Index. Birmingham is a Conservative led Council but without an overall majority so the administration also includes Lib Dems. Thus keeping down the Council Tax is more of an achievement given these constraints.
The rise for 2009/10 is expected to be one of the lowest proposed by any local authority in the country, and is thought to be amongst the lowest in the entire West Midlands. Furthermore, Birmingham City Council is now expected to have achieved the lowest average council tax increase of all the Metropolitan Districts over the past four years.
Despite keeping the Council Tax increase below inflation the budget provides an extra £21.8million for key priorities such as plans for a new Library of Birmingham. This year’s Band D Council Tax in Birmingham is £1,071.
The Council leader Councillor Mike Whitby said: “In the current tough
economic times, I am proud to present a budget to the people of
Birmingham that yet again underlines our commitment to easing the tax
burden on all households. It proves we are doing all that we can to
help those with low-paid or fixed incomes, and the pensioners of the
“Despite the pressures of an almost unprecedented national economic
situation, we are keeping our promise to deliver long-term value for
money and helping the citizens of Birmingham to manage their own
expenditure in these challenging times.
“In real terms, people will actually be required to pay less in the
forthcoming year as we have successfully kept our proposed increase at
just 1.9 per cent, which is comfortably below the rate of inflation.
“Birmingham is again demonstrating how excellent frontline services and
transformational regeneration schemes can be delivered without
excessively burdening the taxpayers. We are continuing to set the
standard for service improvement and good fiscal discipline.”