Budget proposals 2024/5 and 2025/6

Published: Monday, 19th February 2024

Birmingham City Council has published details of budget proposals for the next two years, 2024/5 and 2025/6.

Savings of more than £300m need to be made over the next two financial years and the council’s priority is to deliver and live within a balanced budget.

The level of savings is unprecedented, and the council will continue to face financial pressures in order to meet its wide-ranging statutory duties and protect those residents most in need of support.

This time of significant change for Birmingham City Council means we need to fundamentally change how we deliver services, including involving our residents and communities far more in the decisions we must take.

Cllr John Cotton, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "Birmingham City Council is facing a number of financial challenges and I want to apologise unreservedly for both the significant spending reductions and this year's substantial council tax increase. We have no alternative than to face these challenges head on. And we will do whatever is necessary to put the council back on a sound financial footing.

"Our situation has been made much worse by a national crisis in local government finance. A combination of austerity and underfunding - Birmingham has lost over £1 billion in funding since 2011 - added to a rising demand for services and inflation mean that, across the country local authorities are facing some of the biggest budget challenges in living memory.

"We must now focus on how we spend what we have in the most effective way, and we are committed to getting the basics right across a whole range of service areas. That means ensuring our streets are clean, our roads are in good condition and our parks are open and are safe to use."

After receiving dispensation from the government to raise Council Tax above the 4.99% limit, a 9.99% rise is planned for both 2024/25 and 2025/26.

However, the Council Tax Support scheme has been protected – a quarter of Birmingham’s 461,000 households are eligible for support, with 75,000 paying no council tax at all - while the Discretionary Hardship Fund will also remain in place to provide targeted support to the households in most need across Birmingham.

Cllr Cotton added: "In the midst of the current recession and national cost-of-living crisis, with people across the UK facing the highest overall tax burden for over 70 years, I appreciate that a significant council tax increase is the very last thing people want to see, but we will continue to do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable across our city."

The council anticipates that, subject to consultation, up to 600 posts may be declared redundant across the council.

Formal consultation with the council’s corporate trade union representatives has now begun, and these will be followed by directorate collective consultation meetings.

The budget proposals will go to cabinet on 27 February with a recommendation for approval and will then be voted on by all members at full council on 5 March.

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