Haringey Council has passed a new budget, which sets aside funding for social services and tax reforms.
This comes after nine years of Conservative austerity, which has cut the Revenue Support Grant by £8 million, and left councils with a limited selection of fundraising options.
Haringey has seen funding cuts of £122 million per year in real terms since 2010, which amounts to a reduction of £400 per resident.
In response, the budget’s proposed rise in council tax by 2.99% will provide an extra £3 million, which will go towards local public services like Adult Social Care and Youth Services. The latter will receive £750,000 over three years for youth programmes.
However, the budget will also cut council tax for the poorest residents of Haringey. More than 6,000 low-income families will see reduced bills, and half of them will no longer be required to pay at all.
Other commitments included paying the London Living Wage to carers, ending the use of zero hours contracts, and investing in a free school meal pilot for the borough.
In addition, Nearly £1 billion will be invested in Haringey’s housing over the next 5 years, part of which will go towards 1000 new council homes to be built by 2022.
Councillor Pat Berryman made the case for the budget, pointing out that ‘whilst the government say austerity is over in Haringey, our funding is not keeping up with either rising costs or demand’.