Reporter readers have reacted with anger at councillors’ decision to approve in principle an eye-watering 5.99 per council tax increase.
The move, which the council says is subject to consultation with residents and other stakeholders, was given the green light by cabinet members on Wednesday.
The increase includes 2.99 per cent – the maximum increase without the need of a public referendum under revised Government regulations – with the additional three per cent social care precept.
Government has given councils that provide adult social care the power to increase council tax by up to an additional three per cent in 2017-18 and 2018-19 to contribute towards these services.
Council officials insists they have been left with no alternative to the increase because of huge funding cuts from central government.
But a number of Reporter readers took our Facebook page to protest.
Sarah Elizabeth Smith posted: “Why do people keep voting for these clowns? Why not show them once and for all, at the next local elections, that the people of this town are tired of their nonsense.? It’s not difficult, put your X in a different place.”
Lisa Goult agreed: “Central government are making these cuts because they are still paying off the debt Labour put this country in.”
Jeanette Foster wrote: “I work in the NHS we haven’t had a pay rise in years, it’s an absolute joke. The cost of living keeps going up so does the wages of the councillors and MPs. They won’t be happy until we’re all on our knees crawling to the food banks.”
Elizabeth Ann Harrison added: “Typical of this council. If government set a limit you can be sure our council will do it.
“Just remember to put your x somewhere else. It’s time for a change in St Helens.”
However, others were quick to blame the Conservative government’s policies for forcing the council to increase council tax rates.
Rob Knowles wrote: “When will people realise that this is all due to the cuts by central government, it’s the Tories who should be blamed not the council. That or maybe the council should pull the plug on all essential services like helping the elderly and disabled, they’d save plenty of money then and there wouldn’t need to be a council tax rise.”