We face a huge financial challenge in the years ahead and are working hard to protect the services that make the greatest difference to people’s lives.
The story so far
Each year we set a budget to decide how much we will spend on services for Kent residents and businesses for the next financial year and how much income we need from Government and local taxation to fund this.
We prioritise spending on services that make sure children and young people get the best start in life, that communities feel the benefit of economic growth, and that support vulnerable residents to live independently. Our strategic statement annual report gives details of how we are ensuring every pound spent in Kent is delivering better outcomes for Kent’s residents, communities and businesses.
In recent years the amount of money available from Government has been decreasing while demand and cost for council services has been increasing. We expect this trend to continue in coming years.
Since 2010 we have made savings of £514 million to offset these challenges and continue to protect and invest in those services that make the greatest difference to people’s lives. These savings have focussed on the transformation of services, which means delivering better outcomes at lower cost, and working in more efficient ways. This has allowed us to continue to protect frontline services.
Where our funding comes from
Funding for our budget comes from many sources in addition to Council Tax, including grants from central government.
The Government have published their spending plans for local government up to the 2019/20 financial year and the amount we receive in revenue grants will be less each year.
We have less funding from Government and increased pressure on spending as a result of rising demand for services, inflation and the living wage. This means that despite the savings we have already made, we still have considerable savings to find in the coming years.
To balance our 2017/18 budget we have had to address a gap of £119.1m between the amount of money we have and the amount we need to spend to continue to deliver services. On 9 February 2017 the County Council approved a 3.99% Council Tax increase for 2017/18 to help fund some of this. However, to address the remaining gap and balance the books for next year, we have still had to identify £76.7m of savings. This trend looks set to continue in the following two years.
The 3.99% Council Tax increase for 2017/18 is made up of:
- 1.99% up to the Government referendum limit
- a further 2% increase to fund extra spending on adult social care, which the Government allows us to include. This is called a social care precept.
The 3.99% increase means our proportion of the Council Tax charge on a band C property will rise from £1,007.60 in 2016/17 to £1,047.84 in 2017/18.
Read more about the budget proposals below:
- Budget book 2017/18 (PDF, 2.9 MB)
- Medium term financial plan 2017-20 (PDF, 1.9 MB)
- Medium term financial plan 2017-20 - executive summary (PDF, 141.0 KB)
- Budget consultation documents
- High level 3 year medium term financial plan (PDF, 103.1 KB)
- Our 2016/17 budget
- Budget Book 2016/17 (PDF, 3.4 MB)
- Our current medium term financial plan