Andy Burnham has announced a partial ‘freeze’ in Council Tax payments for many Greater Manchester residents, with the ‘Mayoral General Precept’ amount remaining as it has been this last tax year, at £70.73 for a band B property.
This will come as some welcome news to households across the conurbation who have been struggling with their outgoings for nearly twelve months, as the nation has been gripped by the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s all been a bit bleak, hasn’t it.
Yes, there may be a hint optimism wafting in the spring breeze right now, but it seems that Greater Manchester’s Mayor knows that support will be needed for a long time yet.
Good. He’s right.
Other services, such as Manchester’s failing police service, which was placed into special measures recently, will see a slight increase in the rate of Council Tax - but with 80,000 unrecorded cases on GMP’s hands, they maybe need all the help they can get financially, even though it might leave a bitter taste in the mouths of some of those who have to pay it…
So, if the amount of Council Tax isn’t going up with inflation, will the quality of public services stay where they are, effectively a level down, or will they suffer even more?
No, apparently not according to Andy Burnham, and budgeting well in advance will hopefully see vital services protected long into the future, the Mayor said.
We’ll hold you to that, Mr. Burnham.
Right now, as we prepare to leave lockdown for the third time, everyone in Greater Manchester, from whichever walk of life they come from, is licking their wounds and assessing the damage.
A partial freeze on Council Tax won’t solve everything, but it might make some things a little easier to handle.