Greens propose a 5.9% increase in council tax

Jason Kitcat has proposed a 5.9% council tax increase
Jason Kitcat has proposed a 5.9% council tax increase

The Green Party is proposing a 5.9% rise in council tax next year.

The Green Party is proposing a 5.9% rise in council tax next year.

Council leader Jason Kitcat said the rise was necessary to plug a growing financial hole in the finances of Brighton and Hove City Council.

Councillor Kitcat said the growing demand for services and the cut in support from the government meant a gap of about £25 million.

Even with a 5.9% rise - which would trigger a referendum next May - the gap would still be just over £20 million.

As a result, spending will have to be cut with adult social care and children’s services - two of the biggest spending budgets - bearing the brunt of any reductions.

Cllr Kitcat said: “It’s really tough. Our job is to do the best we can for the city. We have set out what we think is the only responsible option.”

Last year, the Greens proposed a 4.75% rise, which was rejected by opposition Conservative and Labour councillors.

Councillor Warren Morgan, leader of the opposition Labour Group, said: “Our position will remain the same. We do not believe that the financial impact of millions of pounds in cuts to local services by the Conservative-led government should not be passed on to residents by the Green-led council.”

He added: “We will not let the Greens push them further down that route with massive tax increases.”

Cllr Kitcat said that 17,000 of the city’s 125,000 households qualified for help with their council tax bills so the poorest would be protected.

He welcomed a wide public debate like the one hosted by the Brighton and Hove Independent earlier this year and urged people to make their voices heard.