Manchester City Council

Money, Money, Money

I’m going to talk about the Council’s budget today so really should have headed this “ Lack of Money, ..... “. On Wednesday the Council’s Executive agreed its budget recommendations to the special Council meeting that takes place early in March.

This budget marks the second year of the 3 year budget set last year. That 3 year budget was subject to a very wide consultation that gave us very clear messages about what was important to Manchester people and we have listened to those messages and acted upon them.
We have prioritised the most vulnerable of our citizens and even with the horrendous budget cuts we have faced we have still spent more on older people with support needs including new housing provision with extra care facilities, on young people leaving care, on more support for homeless people and those at risk of homelessness, and on supported housing for people with learning difficulties. At the same time we haven’t ignored those basic services that everybody relies on, 15,000 potholes filled and beginning to see improvements from the 5 year, £100m Highways investment programme, recycling rates massively improved and 140 successful prosecutions for flytipping puts us at the top of the national league for tackling this blight of our neighbourhoods.
The 3 year budget proposed a 1.99% increase in Council tax each year to go towards general council services and 3% in each of the first two years to pay for adult social care. We recognise that after 8 years of government imposed austerity that many people are struggling financially, so to try and help residents balance their budgets we are now spreading this year’s Adult Care increase over two years, so the Council’s share of Council tax will now increase by 3.49%, not the originally planned 4.99%.
Council tax is a relatively small part of the Council ‘s income and by prudent management of other ways of raising money, for example our investment in Manchester Airport, we will be spending an extra £20m next year on the things you say are important - more cash to tackle homelessness, to give our young people the best start in life, on early support for older people so they don’t need to be taken out of their own homes for treatment, action to do what we can even in the face of the roll out of universal credit to reduce family poverty, further improvements to keep our Neighbourhoods clean and green. It’s still not enough but with your help we can continue to make Manchester a fair and thriving city.
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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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