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South Wales Police proposing to increase tax precept by inflation busting 5.5%

SOUTH Wales Police is proposing to increase the money it takes from taxes by an inflation-busting 5.5%.

Proposals set to go before the South Wales Police and Crime Panel on Wednesday, February 3 are recommending the increase of £1.25 a month in the police precept for Band D properties.

The proposals include a revenue budget for 2021/2022 of £327.9 million and a capital programme for 2021/22 of £43.7 million including the use of £7.9 million of capital reserves.

The report set to go before the panel highlights that a majority of council taxpayers in most of the force’s local authority areas will pay much less than this such as 87% of households in Merthyr Tydfil which will pay less than this.

The total police precept on council tax in 2021/2022 would be worth £144.2 million if the proposals are approved.

Here’s what the increase in precept will mean for each area of the force:

Cardiff would pay around £42.5 million with £147,794 coming from Band D properties

Swansea would be the next largest contributor paying £27 million with £94,051 coming from Band D properties

Rhondda Cynon Taf would contribute £22.2 million with £77,917.81 coming from Band D properties

The Vale of Glamorgan would pay £17.6 million with £61,412 coming from Band D properties

Bridgend would contribute £15.6 million with £54,329.46 coming from Band D properties

Neath Port Talbot would pay £13.8 million with £48,163.46 coming from Band D properties

Merthyr Tydfil would contribute £5.3 million with £8,430.74 coming from Band D properties

This would mean Band A properties each paying a police precept of £191.81, B paying £223.78, C paying £255.75, D paying £287.72, E paying £351.65, F paying £415.59, G paying £479.53, H paying £575.43 and I paying £671.34

The inflationary and other cost pressures that South Wales Police normally faces are worth £12 million but for 2021/2022 the pay freeze will reduce the amount to £7.5 million.

The Home Office has provided a flat-cash settlement, with no allowance for inflation for the current South Wales Police infrastructure and this puts pressure on the precept increase in order to produce a balanced budget for the year, the report said.

The report also said that the Home Office has also given “flexibility” to police and crime commissioners in England to increase the precept by £15 for a Band D property, without the need for a local referendum.

For South Wales Police, this equates to a 5.5% increase which the report said recognises the fact that that the proposed settlement, including the increase in the precept and on the back of 40% real terms cut in police grant funding since 2010, is “essential just to maintain current levels of provision.”

Alun Michael, the police and crime commissioner for South Wales said in the report:

“I have weighed up all the relevant issues and the significant risks, balanced with the need to both protect and be fair to the taxpayers of South Wales, before coming to my proposal of a £1.25 per month increase per Band D properties in line with Home Office announcements. This will ensure a balanced budget.

“Our council tax property analysis shows that 68% of the residents in the South Wales Police area are below Band D and the majority would pay between 19 pence and 26 pence extra per week, excluding receipt of any council tax discounts or benefits.

“It is important to note that South Wales Police will continue to have below-average cost for policing in Wales in terms of Band D property and is mid-table in terms of percentage of precept to budget, across England and Wales.”

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