“Not an easy choice” Council tax bills to rise by in Milton Keynes

More of your money will go into council tax in the next financial year
More of your money will go into council tax in the next financial year

Council tax in Milton Keynes is set to rise by 4.99 per cent in the next year, with 1 per cent of that going to “special causes”.

MK’s Labour administration want to use the extra cash to pay for more help for rough sleepers, children’s mental health services, as well as helping voluntary groups and charities.

Pete Marland

Pete Marland

The council is currently consulting on cuts of £14million for next year, after making £130million worth of cuts since 2010.

It originally planned a standard council tax rise of 1.99 per cent plus a special levy of 3 per cent to prop up the city’s over-stretched social care budget.

To now add another 1 per cent in the mix - an option suggested in the Chancellor’s budget in December - was “not an easy choice”, said council leader Pete Marland.

“We are proposing to take the extra 1 per cent council tax rise and invest the extra income in supporting vulnerable people and our voluntary sector,” he said.

The Cabinet proposes more funding to rough sleepers with more emergency accommodation and mental health support.

They will also plough more cash into voluntary groups, with a grant fund for new health and wellbeing scheme

Pete said: “to increase council tax is not an easy choice. We know people are finding making ends meet tough, and so is the council after years of cuts. However this extra funding will save lives, improve lives and give people hope.”

He added: “The services that have suffered the most from cuts are the ones many people don’t see, the support and help services that many people rely on.”

This year, Milton Keynes Council has collected £129.31 million through council tax. It keeps 80p out of every £1 collected to pay for all its services. Eleven pence in the pound goes to the Police and Crime Commissioner, four pence to the local fire authority and five pence to parish and town councils in MK.