Council Tax Charge For Police Set To Rocket 14% Within 15 Months

20th February 2018

The annual charge for policing on Merseyside is due to rise by more than 14% over the next 15 months, as Merseyside’s Labour Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy prepares to confirm her 2018/19 budget and precept on Thursday this week.

The increase from this April is proposed at 7.2%. With a similar inflation-busting increase being planned for the following year it means that the police precept, currently £166 for a band D property, will rise by a total of £24 or 14.5% to £190 a year by April 2019.

The news comes just days after the Commissioner unveiled her new multi-million Operational Command Building at Speke, with another large new HQ building planned for North Liverpool.

Despite the large increase in the precept, the number of police officers is projected to fall over the course of the next financial year, according to details presented to the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel when they considered the Commissioner’s proposals earlier this month.

The Police precept is on top of the Sefton Council Tax where the controlling Labour Group is expected to propose a 5.99% increase at the budget meeting set for 1st March.

“These large increases pile the pressure on already hard-pressed local residents,” says Cllr John Pugh, leader of the Lib Dem opposition group on Sefton Council.

“At a time when many people’s incomes are static or rising by just a small amount, the idea that increases in Council Tax of 6% or 7% are acceptable is simply wrong. This is particularly so when it’s far from being a fair form of taxation.”

Birkdale Lib Dem councillor Simon Shaw, who is Vice-Chair of the Merseyside Police Panel, also voiced his concern: “When local council tax-payers are looking at a 14.5% increase over two years in what they are paying towards local policing they might expect to see an increase in the number of police officers.”

“However the exact opposite applies. It’s a case of ‘Pay more, get less’ with a proposed reduction of more than 100 police officers over the next 12 months alone.”