Upbeat Tories give more detail on plan to freeze council tax

Cllr Shane Hebb - set to deliver an upbeat financial report to the council

THURROCK Council’s deputy leader and finance portfolio has given more detail about the ruling Conservative group’s recommendation not to increase council tax in 2019. 

Cllr Shane Hebb says: “Thurrock’s Conservative Cabinet have published a recommendation that it intends to move into the 2019/20 budget round proposing no increase to the general council tax bill for Thurrock residents.

“In 2018, the Conservative’s budget was put forward with a 1.99% general council tax increase – where 95% of councils across the UK raised by 2.99%.

“Our long-term economic plan is working – the services that residents use and depend are nearly seven years strong and safer, under just two and half years of Conservative leadership”. 

“We are on track to balance our budget not just this year with a surplus, but will be balanced years into the next decade. “Therefore, with our financial resilience, must come benefit for Thurrock residents – so we will not be proposing to increase tax by 2.99%, nor 1.99%, or 1%”.

“Our proposed recommendation going into next year is to not raise general council tax at all”.

“At the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a tax cut, which translates to 47% of working people in Thurrock being taken out of paying income tax altogether.”

Council leader, Cllr Rob Gledhill, added: “Conservatives have always believed that running a council like Thurrock isn’t ‘how much the council has’, but ‘what a council does with what it has’. High taxation always hurts those on the lowest incomes – hence the Chancellors, and now our own Cabinet’s, commitments to doing what we can to help”.

“Unlike most councils across Essex, Thurrock has responsibilities for all types of council services, so to be able to say we are investing in services and not taking extra money from the taxpayer and still retaining the lowest council tax rate in Essex, is significant”.