NDM8238 Welsh Conservatives Debate - Local government funding

NDM8238 Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Notes that local authorities have an estimated £2.75 billion in useable reserves.

2. Recognises the vital role that local authorities play in delivering public services across Wales and the funding challenges they face.

3. Regrets that the average council tax rise in Wales for 2023-2024 is 5.5 per cent.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) commission an independent review of the Welsh local government funding formula;

b) work with local authorities to use their useable reserves to keep council tax as low as possible;

c) require any local authority proposing an excessive increase in council tax to hold a local referendum and obtain a yes vote before implementing the proposed rise.

The following amendments were tabled:

Amendment 1 Lesley Griffiths (Wrexham)

Delete all after point 1 and replace with:

Recognises council tax as one of the most regressive forms of taxation, disproportionately impacting on poorer areas and welcomes the Co-operation Agreement commitment to make the system fairer and more progressive;

Recognises the vital role local authorities play in delivering public services across Wales, the significant increases in the local government settlement in 2022-2023 and 2023-24 and the funding challenges authorities nevertheless face.

Notes that the average band D council tax in Wales is £186 less than the average in England.

Calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) continue to develop and maintain the Welsh local government funding formula in partnership with local government;

b) continue to recognise the importance of local democratic decision making on council budgets and public services.

The Co-operation Agreement 2021

If amendment 1 is agreed, amendment 2 will be de-selected.

Amendment 2 Sian Gwenllian (Arfon)

In point 4, delete sub-points (b) and (c).

Amendment 3 Sian Gwenllian (Arfon)

Add as new points at end of motion:

Recognises that council tax is one of the most regressive forms of taxation and disproportionately impacts on poorer areas of the country.

Welcomes the commitment through the Plaid Cymru and Welsh Government Co-operation Agreement to make the council tax system fairer and more progressive.

The Co-operation Agreement 2021

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Type: For information

First published: 04/05/2023