York Green Party

Green Party Budget proposal: Let the People Decide

21 February 2014

Local services are being ever more squeezed by the Coalition Government's continued austerity programme. Year-on-year cuts to Council services now amount to a 46% cut in Government grants since 2010. This year, York Green Party say 'enough is enough' to cuts and make a defiant stand for a Council Tax increase.

Green Party Councillors serving on the City Council have proposed an amendment to the city council's budget which would increase council tax by 2.9%. This is 1% more than the ruling Labour Group's proposal, adding an average of 22p per week onto each household's bills to help protect social care services for children and vulnerable adults, and to restore some basic services such as the locking and unlocking of parks.

The Government sets a threshold for the amount by which Council Tax can be raised each year - increases above this can only be permitted by a referendum of residents. The Greens welcome this. "Massive cut in Government grants since 2010 mean that it is time that citizens of York should have a direct say on the budget" said group leader Cllr Andy D'Agorne. If approved, such a referendum would take plan alongside the European Elections in May to save money.

With the additional money, the Greens' proposals would see reduced cuts to York's libraries, youth services, community centres, children's respite care, sheltered housing, day care services, mental health services and support for people with disabilities. It would retain food safety inspections of cafes and restaurants which Labour plan to privatise, and reverse a small cut to staffing for air-quality monitoring in the city.

Councillor Dave Taylor adds, "The Greens' positive alternative takes the first step in challenging the austerity agenda by giving York residents the choice whether to pay, on average, an extra 22p a week on top of the Labour budget in order to protect vital social services.  We would include additional funding for York Financial Assistance Fund to compensate for the increase for our worst-off residents, a fund the Government now threatens to cease to finance in future.  We'd far rather see a return to proper funding of local government services, but we believe that York residents would step up to the Government's referendum challenge and say that they do value local services, and that would be a step in the right direction."


RSS Feed York Green Party RSS Feed

What have your Green councillors ever done for you?
Donate to your local party
Turn York Green Party Green

Sign up here to receive our monthly updates

We'll mail you about once a month with Green Party news and updates for your area. We'll always keep your details safe, private and secure.

members' site