Croydon to freeze council tax and offer £25 rebate

Croydon to freeze council tax and offer £25 rebate

Croydon town hall

Coun Mike Fisher, leader of Croydon Council

Coun Tony Newman, leader of the council's Labour group

First published in Where I Live
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Council tax is to be frozen next year and some taxpayers will get money back in their pockets as Croydon's political parties steel themselves for an election battle.

The council announced yesterday it would not hike the tax in 2014-15 and would offer a £25 rebate for people who pay their bill in full.

Those with less than £25 unpaid council tax outstanding will also see their debt written off in the plans, which form part of the council's next budget along with proposals for a two-week rent 'holiday' for council tenants.

Coun Tony Newman, leader of the Labour opposition group, dismissed the freeze as "desperate election bribe" ahead of the council polls in May, while his opposite number insisted the handout had "nothing to do with the election".

Coun Mike Fisher, council leader, said: "We recognise that these are difficult times for residents and as we now come out of the recession we know that we can offer this to give back some money to hard-pressed families in Croydon."

Under the plans, taxpayers who paid council tax in full this year will receive £25 in April.

Coupled with a 1.32 per cent cut in the Mayor of London's portion of council tax bills, the average Band D household would see their bill fall by two per cent.

The rebate would be paid for out of a £3.2m recession reserve fund stashed as insurance by the council during the financial downturn.

Coun Newman said: "This equates almost exactly to the amount that Coun Fisher took off people when he hiked the council tax last year."

"Now, in a desperate election bribe, he is giving people back their own money.

"This rebate equates to 50p a week and is money that actually the most vulnerable people in the borough won't actually receive."

The council hiked the tax 1.85 per cent last year.

But Coun Fisher said: "I am not interested in what Coun Newman has to say; I am interested in what the people of Croydon have to say. I don’t think you will find many residents saying they don't want money back."

The budget, that will go before the cabinet on February 10, will also plans to give council tenants two weeks' free rent in April - saving the average household £220.

The saving will cancel out a 4.9 per cent hike in rent recommended by the Government.

 

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Comments (7)

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1:17pm Tue 28 Jan 14

ArfurTowcrate says...

What's the opportunity cost of this £25 "rebate"? What else could be done with the money?
What's the opportunity cost of this £25 "rebate"? What else could be done with the money? ArfurTowcrate
  • Score: -5

1:22pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Pawel_Si says...

It seems like this is the only thing Council is doing. When are they going to clean the streets?
It seems like this is the only thing Council is doing. When are they going to clean the streets? Pawel_Si
  • Score: 2

1:50pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Simon Pharter says...

Small comfort for the needed of Croydon lol
Small comfort for the needed of Croydon lol Simon Pharter
  • Score: -5

9:39am Wed 29 Jan 14

Croydon Resident says...

Well done Croydon Council. Giving money back to tax payers not taking even more in these hard pressed times. Pitty the government doesn't follow Croydon's lead. Worth remembering Labour put up our Council Tax by 27% in one year alone!
Well done Croydon Council. Giving money back to tax payers not taking even more in these hard pressed times. Pitty the government doesn't follow Croydon's lead. Worth remembering Labour put up our Council Tax by 27% in one year alone! Croydon Resident
  • Score: 2

11:54am Wed 29 Jan 14

christhegoth says...

The Torys still scream about Labour's 30% rise in Council Tax 8-9 years ago, but they never reversed it and are now out of cash ( apparently, usual disclaimers apply ).

This does smell like an election bribe. As our Care Homes are now Privatised ( which will hit our many many elderly residents who are key voters ) I can't help but feel this is, well, yes...

Care Home wages dropped from £11 per hour ( proper nurse ) to £6.50 per hour ( cleaner ) when Care UK took over. Many talented staff have now left, and those staying have to go for over-time to make ends meet. This is not a good thing. Tired staff make mistakes. And skilled staff go where the cash is.

Worried for your elderly relatives? You should be.
The Torys still scream about Labour's 30% rise in Council Tax 8-9 years ago, but they never reversed it and are now out of cash ( apparently, usual disclaimers apply ). This does smell like an election bribe. As our Care Homes are now Privatised ( which will hit our many many elderly residents who are key voters ) I can't help but feel this is, well, yes... Care Home wages dropped from £11 per hour ( proper nurse ) to £6.50 per hour ( cleaner ) when Care UK took over. Many talented staff have now left, and those staying have to go for over-time to make ends meet. This is not a good thing. Tired staff make mistakes. And skilled staff go where the cash is. Worried for your elderly relatives? You should be. christhegoth
  • Score: 2

10:14am Thu 30 Jan 14

Croydon Resident says...

Labour busts the economy everytime they get into office whether that's Croydon or Westminster. No apology ever made by Labour for the 30% increase and whether you rich or poor we all had to pay it.
Labour busts the economy everytime they get into office whether that's Croydon or Westminster. No apology ever made by Labour for the 30% increase and whether you rich or poor we all had to pay it. Croydon Resident
  • Score: -4

1:40pm Thu 30 Jan 14

christhegoth says...

Croydon Resident wrote:
Labour busts the economy everytime they get into office whether that's Croydon or Westminster. No apology ever made by Labour for the 30% increase and whether you rich or poor we all had to pay it.
And The Torys spent the cash as well. They never reversed the decision. What's your point?
[quote][p][bold]Croydon Resident[/bold] wrote: Labour busts the economy everytime they get into office whether that's Croydon or Westminster. No apology ever made by Labour for the 30% increase and whether you rich or poor we all had to pay it.[/p][/quote]And The Torys spent the cash as well. They never reversed the decision. What's your point? christhegoth
  • Score: 0

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