Families told they must cough up £24 extra a month in council tax to pay for police
The Home Office confirmed the Sun’s revelations last month that £24 is likely to be added to millions of council tax bills in 2019-2020 to tackle the rise in violent crime.
The ‘top-up’ will raise as much as £510 million for Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales.
Only an additional £161 million will come from Government – and sources claimed £70 million of this will have to be found from cost-savings.
Labour said it was “perverse” to hit taxpayers for the money – and that it only amounted to a “drop in the ocean” in the fight against crime.
Shadow Police Minister Louise Haigh said: “Pushing the burden onto hard-pressed council tax payers is perverse and will do little to fill the financial black hole many forces are facing.
“The Home Secretary’s warm words have not been matched by action.”
The move comes despite watchdogs in October warning that the “heavy reliance” on council tax top-ups for police funding was “unsustainable”.
The proportion of police money from council tax cash has leapt from 26 per cent to 36 per cent since 2010.
Home Office officials yesterday argued that police forces were also getting £153 million for pension costs in 2019-2020.
The Government is also putting an additional £89 million to tackle serious and organised crime. And – as announced at the Budget – there will be £59 million for counter-terror policing.
The overall package means police will receive £14 billion in 2019-2020.
But the £670 million increase for PCCs is the only rise specifically earmarked for neighbourhood policing.
Police funding 2019-2020
Up to £970m extra
*Possible £510 million from council tax
*£161m rise in core Government grant
*£153m pension top-up
*£89m for organised crime strategy
*£59m counter terror policing
In a statement Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Since becoming Home Secretary, I have been clear I would prioritise police funding and today I have delivered on that promise.
“This is a significant funding settlement that provides the most substantial police funding increase since 2010, with more money for local police forces, counter terrorism, and tackling serious and organised crime.”
Shock figures two months ago revealed an explosion in serious violence across England and Wales. In the year to June, murder rose 14 per cent, knife crime by 12 per cent and robbery by 22 per cent.
Overall crime levels were at a 13-year high.
Source: Read Full Article