‘SIGNIFICANT’ COUNCIL TAX INCREASE EXPECTED FOR ISLAND HOUSEHOLDS TO PLUG COVID-19 BLACKHOLE

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A ‘significant increase’ in council tax, higher than any other in recent years, is potentially on the cards to help boost Council coffers.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the corporate scrutiny committee, it was announced the Isle of Wight Council’s £10 million funding gap caused by the ongoing pandemic had been reduced to £5.5 million, with help from government funding.

Councillor Stuart Hutchinson, the cabinet member for strategic finance and the COVID recovery, said it was absolutely critical the budget be balanced by the end of the financial year, otherwise the overspend would just have to be found in future years.

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While trying to balance this year’s budget, council officers have also been trying to pull together a budget for next year (2021/22), contending with lost funding and the need to find £3.5million in savings as part of a medium-term financial strategy.

The Fair Funding Review has been delayed for the third time, which council executives said would have had a ‘significant benefit’. They also face the loss of the business rate retention scheme, which would have also provided around £1.9million.

The government announced before Christmas the social care precept could be raised by 3% — instead of 2% as seen in previous years. That is on top of any increases to council tax and the fire, police and town council precepts.

Cllr Hutchinson said:

“We have identified for every single service the level of savings they have to find and officers and cabinet members have been working enormously hard to put those things in place.

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“We are very conscious if we take the full three per cent plus the normal inflation levels that is a significant increase in council tax that will impact all households on the Island at a time when many will be struggling.

“As each year goes by it gets more difficult to deal with this and we were hoping things like the Fair Funding Review, would put things into better balance. We will put forward proposals for a budget. It will be a legal and balanced budget and it will be a difficult one.”

Chief executive, John Metcalfe, said there is so much uncertainty with the next budget — whether there will be more government funding and if income levels will be able to recover from services the council relies on such as leisure centres and car parking. But he reassured councillors measures were in place to stop the council reaching bankruptcy.

Cllr Julie Jones-Evans said she was going to sound like a broken record but it had been 5 years since the report was presented showing how much the physical separation of the Island cost — around £6.1 million. She said:

“We are desperate for that Island Deal. It costs us that extra just to be on a level playing field as every other local authority. Not only have we got one hand tied behind our back because we do not have enough money, we are now doubly-damned because of our Island situation with Covid.

“It is all very well people coming down and standing in front of the Columbine building and having a photo opportunity and saying ‘Island Deal’ but I want to see it … getting our fair money.”

Cllr Hutchinson said reminders were being sent frequently but the council “cannot force” the government to provide it.

Leader of the council, Cllr Dave Stewart said the administration was working closely together with the MP to get the deal, and they are ‘not letting up’.

To complete the council’s budget consultation, by the 21st January deadline, you can fill in the survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9NBQW2Q.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
46 Comments
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Ben
Ben
1 month ago

More like to plug the hole in the chain ferry

Jim-Bo
Jim-Bo
Reply to  Ben
1 month ago

Despite massive amounts of new houses already built here, gaining ever more income for these greedy, self serving parasites, these incompetent vile people STILL need to charge us more, when, with more now paying than ever before, our bills ought to be less each year.

So, as MORE homes with them in control clearly means even higher council tax rises, even with all these extra thousands of homes YET to be built,, they will STILL make us pay even more AND ruin our standard of life as more cars, more crime, longer queues at doctors, dentist, school places, congested roads and ruined countryside and countless more people chasing fewer jobs here

Vote them OUT for there is NOTHING good about them.

DON’T LEAVE IT TO OTHERS ENSURE NEXT CHANCE YOU VOTE.

Loopy Lil
Loopy Lil
1 month ago

We won`t mention the occasional “floating bridge”

Business owner
Business owner
Reply to  Loopy Lil
1 month ago

You mean the tern raft as that’s all it it fit for. Should have sent the damn thing back

Non Original Lady Dun Standing
Non Original Lady Dun Standing
Reply to  Loopy Lil
1 month ago

That dear Lil, is one of their less damaging blunders.

Tony
Tony
1 month ago

No surprise there. Inflation as been historically low but still get whacked by max council tax every year. No need for excuses, it will be done anyway.

Miss sensible
Miss sensible
Reply to  Tony
1 month ago

Its there pension pot that needs topping up beggar all the rest of us .
How about they dip into that to plug the hole ,????
You can’t get blood out of a stone
How many people are earning less on furlough/ lost job’s and they wonder why families need help feeding the children.
They must live on another planet .

Helen Highwater
Helen Highwater
1 month ago

Great way to wind up the CT: keep creating new “precepts” and take them outside the core Council Tax. How long before we see “Councillors’ Allowance Precept” and “Metcalfe’s Pension Fund Precept”?

Last edited 1 month ago by Helen Highwater
Horse-flaps
Horse-flaps
Reply to  Helen Highwater
1 month ago

Never have we had such a destructive, greedy, likely some if not many, corrupt in control of this Island. Anyone who vote for such ‘just because they are under a traditional political banner needs to wake up. Far too much cash is wasted on petty criminals placed into care, who destroy whatever they are given, and are sat around all day being vile to residents and visitors alike. More cash is spent unwisely on this overly costly ‘care’ in the community people, who are paid by central Government by various benefits depending on their disability, YET we then have to fund such again via our council tax as ‘paid helper’ take them out for days out, horse riding and other pleasures many normal people now can’t afford. Places like Ryde House, Hayland Farm etc are hugely costly, and are too costly for us to fund. Those in receipt of Government… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Horse-flaps
Bob
Bob
1 month ago

Scum bags when every one is struggling enough.

She
She
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

Couldn’t agree more
So many now with no income
Businesses going under ….
And now they want to put up the council tax….how about they stop wasting our money we pay already and get very little back for it …..tell the council to take a pay cut in their wages

Christopher Davis
Christopher Davis
1 month ago

What an absolute disgrace! How do these useless councillors think we can pay yet another disgraceful increase in Council tax, when was the last time any of us received a 3% pay rise? Lucky if we have had 3% in the last ten years. Yet in this time councillors have received a substantial increase ever year. What a shame there is not something like the impeachment system used for US president’s because clearly our councillors are unfit to hold office.

Dicky Daniels
Dicky Daniels
Reply to  Christopher Davis
1 month ago

It’ll be 5%.then the town councils wedge. Particularly Ryde, who already have a huge precept, buying more buildings. Rather than try to reduce our bill.

Pcw
Pcw
1 month ago

Isle of Wight Council “Go Love Yourself!”
Do you want the shirt off my back too?
If you were a business you would be reported
for Extortion!
Pay us this money or go to Jail !!!

Arky
Arky
1 month ago

The real point for us all is that we wouldn’t mind paying if we felt they were spending our money well on our behalf, but they aren’t. These councillors are quite confident they can do as they please, employ expensive, pointless consultants; give out contracts; live in a bubble where they are never accountable for their decisions or actions. They neglect so many real issues on the Island because they know they can. Many of them are a disgrace to public office.

Julie White
Julie White
Reply to  Arky
1 month ago

Absolutely disgusting from the council we pay over 50 pounds a week council tax it’s a disgrace when years ago rates and water were paid together and we get rubbish service and I won’t mention the salaries the big boys are on more than Boris Johnson

Helen Highwater
Helen Highwater
Reply to  Arky
1 month ago

All true.
Remember we have only a few weeks for opposing candidates to register for May’s elections.
PLEASE!!!

Roman Tic
Roman Tic
1 month ago

Cool. Nobody will be able to afford to buy food then.

Frank o Tool
Frank o Tool
1 month ago

Can the Island get crapped on anymore?was going to list but would take to long.

Business owner
Business owner
1 month ago

Yes but the greedy *****holes manage to drive the jags and charge us for there take outs and taxis and buses and their pay rises for what I ask pray! Spraying dots on pavements.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Business owner
1 month ago

Total agree, they have just spent a million on new vans , when there was nothing wrong with the old ones, which were sold off in bulk very cheap.

Marcus
Marcus
1 month ago

Really? Hit the people who have been hit the most why don’t they. Time for everyone to start looking for a council house now. Why don’t all us islanders protest against the tax increase.

Last edited 1 month ago by Marcus
Nick Black
Nick Black
1 month ago

I hate to say this, but isn’t one of the issues that we have (apart from our Councillors being a bunch of Buffoons), is that they want to spend money on projects like any large ‘Metropolitan’ Authority, but only have a population base which is less than many individual large cities!
simplistic answer is to do away with the Isle of Wight as a Unitary Authority and re-amalgamate with Hampshire proper. The Island was part of Hampshire for countless years, and, a large number of it’s principal services are run via Hampshire.
Time to turn County Hall back into a ‘Borough’ Council office again (who remembers Medina and South Wight Councils?) and make Dave and all of the other ‘cronies’ in County hall part of the national unemployment statistics.

Susan
Susan
1 month ago

Where do the council think we are supposed to get the extra money from most of us are on minimum wage

Sheila Allchorn
Sheila Allchorn
Reply to  Susan
1 month ago

they should get the extra money from their tory government after all they were the ones who allowed people to travel no matter what tier they came from what about all of the savings the council made by stopping a lot of the school bus routes

Old bean
Old bean
1 month ago

So a lot of people are on furloughed 80 percent wage what do are council do put up council tax disgusting stop spending money on floating bridge and stupid road works joke absolute joke

YIGAF
YIGAF
1 month ago

Why are people surprised. It’s flaming obvious that someone has to pay for St Mary’s Roundabout , Floating Bridge fiasco , more money into their pension pots etc.,etc., Government don’t give a damn. More money skimmed off from us the less they’ll have to give to our beloved council. Welcome to 2021.

Bennymew
Bennymew
1 month ago

Disgraceful .. they want more money .. for what ! Where are folk supposed to find these increases every year ?
Time they got off their backsides and went round the Island and actually see the amount of caravans on peoples land and purpose built buildings in the owners back garden, (I know of one where planning permission was not put in, a family now live in it) where second families are living and paying nothing in respect of council tax, yet they are using all the services – for example putting their rubbish out each week.
As for the survey, don’t waste your time, the questions are asked in such a way that they achieve the answers ‘they’ want.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bennymew
Mojo
Mojo
1 month ago

We are on the bread line now how the hell can we keep paying more when we just haven’t got it

Fedup
Fedup
1 month ago

You, the IOWC have had it too good for too long. It is time you were all gone. Get real. Just try living like we have too. Your are useless.

Badger
Badger
1 month ago

Hope it’s a 50% rise for all second home owners,!

Martin knight
Martin knight
1 month ago

Cut the council’s wages to the minimum wage hole filled job done

Opinions dont matter
Opinions dont matter
1 month ago

They should double it..

Oldbutalive
Oldbutalive
1 month ago

Each year the tax goes up and yet more and more savings have to be made by this council.
SO for more money we are getting considerably less services.
No wonder this council wants thousands of more houses on the island.

The worst thing is yet to come, councillors getting another pay rise !

Pepe
Pepe
1 month ago

Yum yum yum, just imagine all that lovely cocaine they can buy. They’ll be busy snorting for weeks! Lovely.

Liz
Liz
1 month ago

Us too plug there covid black hole??greedy t wats .they’ve had several gov handouts already for it .where tf is it all going huh.you useless greedy council .intoo there pockets.nicely lined and warm ready for this cold snap

freeloader
freeloader
1 month ago

perhaps a few councillors need a chat with, in town, when they are out shopping.

Dave
Dave
1 month ago

So we all moan about this but do nothing .
We all have our own thoughts on what we think of the local council.
We all know the government have given the local council Money to cover this so called black whole. So why the council tax hike ?
But what have they done with the money ?
So let’s all ask our MP to find out and here is the email address.
[email protected]
It take a minute to send a email and ask the question. Let’s see who’s side our MP is really on .

Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
1 month ago

That’s right, take even more from us and watch local businesses go bankrupt.

Keith
Keith
1 month ago

Crooks

tipper
tipper
1 month ago

Whats Dave want another pay rise

mark
mark
1 month ago

Shouldn’t it be reduced as they saved money during Covid. Services like libraries shut, staff from various depts furloughed. Rotten to the core and don’t suppose most of the councillors were even born here.

Miss Angry
Miss Angry
1 month ago

Bring back the old rates system that included water, having said that they’ll find a way to get as much blood from us ‘stones’

Ian
Ian
1 month ago

Thats right, kick us even more when we are down.

steve
steve
1 month ago

so the gov give this useless council millions now they want to take more from us. there’s going to be a lot of people claiming the dole you cretins. keep digging that hole ready for the next voting as you wont be here much longer.

Sheila Allchorn
Sheila Allchorn
Reply to  steve
1 month ago

certainly hope not

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