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Savings stopped a bigger rate rise says council leader

Thu, 31 Jan 2019

The leader of Douglas Council says ratepayers could’ve been hit by an even bigger rate rise were it not for the authority’s cost saving efforts.

A 3.3 per cent increase in the property tax to fund local services was announced by the Council yesterday, which set the rate at 443 pence in the pound.

A typical three-bedroom house in Douglas will pay an extra 31 pence a week under the change.

David Christian placed the blame for the rise on central government, pointing to the impact of waste charges, a pay award, and pensions changes, all hikes ‘outside of Council control’.

He says the rise might have been even bigger had it not been for a £770,000 budget reduction, achieved through a reduction in staff numbers and other savings.

In the local authority’s revenue estimates, an expected £11.7 million will arrive in rates over the next financial year (19/20), up from £11.3 million this year.

Over the last nine years, council rates have increased by 12.5 per cent, whilst Manx RPI inflation has risen 48 per cent, a fact Councillor Christian was keen to highlight during his budget speech.

Despite the rise, Councillor Christian insists ratepayers should be ‘optimistic’, with a financial plan for Douglas of ‘growth, investment and vision’.

He’s been speaking to Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne:


  • David Christian Rates Rise


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