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Welfare support protected in budget proposals
Liverpool City Council has published its final budget proposals for 2023/24.
A combination of a better-than-expected local government settlement, improvements in some of the assumptions made and the government raising the Council Tax threshold to 4.99% has reduced the amount needed to be saved from £73 million to £49 million.
It means many of the welfare-related budget options have been taken off the table:
Reduction/removal of the Benefits Maximisation Team
Removing 100% Council Tax relief for Liverpool City Council foster carers
Reducing the Council Tax Support Scheme
Reducing the number of One Stop Shops
In addition, the Household Support Fund will be used to offset reductions in:
Liverpool Citizen Support Scheme
Discretionary Housing Payments
No Recourse to Public Funds
It means there will be no change to the funding for these services in 2023/24.
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “We have been clear from the start of the budget setting process that if we were able to, we would protect welfare-related services, and I am pleased that we have been able to do so.
“At a time when people who are already struggling are facing rising costs, we were determined to do all we could to protect our proud record of supporting those who need our help.
“Notwithstanding this, there are still some tough options set to be taken forward, which is why we are pushing ahead with a radical transformation programme to refocus our services and make sure every pound of our spending is making a difference.”
Interim Chief Executive, Theresa Grant, added: “We have been through a very intense period scrutinising the options to make sure that the final budget proposals are robust and will deliver the savings we need to make.
“This is the start of a three-year journey to putting the organisation on a sustainable financial footing for the medium and long term, with services that deliver best value and are based around the needs of residents, in the heart of the community.”
The budget proposals will be considered by the Cabinet on Friday 24 February before going to the Budget Council meeting on Wednesday 1 March.