NOTHING has been decided in terms of a council tax increase yet says Neath Port Talbot Council.

The council issued a statement in relation to some confusion about the budget proposals for the 2024/25 financial year, with social media reports saying that the council may have already decided on a double figure council tax increase.

This came from footage of the council’s cabinet meeting on December 20, 2023, where an officer replies to a question about the council’s funding gap after the Welsh Government’s provisional settlement for Neath Port Talbot Council was only going to be a 2.8 per cent increase rather than the 3.1 per cent increase that had initially been budgeted for.

In the footage, the officer says that council tax would possibly have to rise by as much as 11 per cent to close the gap, however, he also said that the council would be working tirelessly over the coming months to reduce the funding gap so that any council tax increase could be kept as low as possible, but this was not included in the online footage.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The council wishes to emphasise the cabinet meeting from which the footage was shown did not contain any firm proposals in relation to council tax levels for 2024/25 which will not be set until early in March.

“It is also important to note that in preparing for its 2024/25 budget the council has carried out an extensive exercise to look at opportunities for increasing income and reducing expenditure across the council.

“This work has been done to limit the impact on jobs and services and on the level of council tax required to close the gap between Welsh Government funding and the cost of providing its vital services.

“It should also be noted that final decisions around council tax levels are a matter for full council.”

Neath Port Talbot Council will be agreeing its budget and setting council tax in March after the Welsh Government’s final local government settlement is received.