The Council’s finances continue to be under pressure. We are grappling with the impacts of high inflation and a volatile economic climate, while working to support residents and deliver the services you rely on.
This follows more than a decade of cuts in Government funding, Manchester being one of the hardest hit councils. Since 2010 we've had to make £443million of savings to cope with Government cuts and unfunded budget pressures, such as inflation and a growing population.
Unlike some councils, we can set a balanced budget. Thanks to long-term financial planning, which has meant some difficult decisions, including £36.2million of savings for 2023/24 to 2025/26 and the use of £50million reserves in the same period. Reserves can only be used once, and using them reduces our ability to deal with future ‘rainy days’.
Despite these challenges, we are delivering on what you have told us are your priorities. Including overseeing the creation of 10,000 affordable homes over a decade and addressing homelessness; and promoting a healthier and happier city, tackling inequalities and creating vibrant neighbourhoods where people want to live – all while leading the drive towards becoming a net zero-carbon city by 2038 or earlier.
We’re also still focused on the basics – from cleaning your streets and emptying your bins, to maintaining your parks and roads.
When we approved our budget for 2023/24 we also set a balanced budget for 2024/25. This assumed the same increase in council tax in both years – a 2.99% increase in the general council tax, plus 2% specifically to help meet adult social care costs – so 4.99% in total.
Each 1% increase brings in around £2.2million. If council tax did not go up by this amount, it would hamper our ability to fund essential services that support Manchester people, especially those who are struggling the most. Manchester people on the lowest incomes receive help through our Council Tax Support Scheme and will only have to pay a small fraction of the bill.
We know times are hard for many people across the city, and the country as a whole. The Council will continue to provide targeted support for those who need it most, as well as the services that everybody relies on.
Your views in this consultation will help shape the priorities as we set our budget for 2024/25.