The majority of people would be willing to pay more in council tax or voluntary one-off levies to better fund particular local services across the country – a report issued today by Localis has claimed.
Exclusive polling undertaken by YouGov for the Localis report ‘Monetising Goodwill’ reveals the top five public services people would pay more per month in council tax are, in rank order: public health, fire, police, adult social care and children’s social care.
The survey uncovered six issues with majority support for paying some extra cash as a voluntary one-off levy: helping older people to live independently for longer; support for local homeless people; improving disability access; repairing potholes; reducing loneliness and reducing anti-social behaviour.
Regional variations in attitudes to tax and spending showed residents of the East Midlands were the most willing to make bigger tax contributions, followed by respondents from Yorkshire and the Humber and London.
East Midlanders showed a marked preference to pay for better roads with nearly two-thirds (65%) willing to pay voluntary levies to repair potholes – a figure 12% higher than the national average – and the same percentage (65%) happy to accept a hike in council tax bills to boost road maintenance services, a figure 17% above the national figure.
Just under six-in-ten (59%) of those from Yorkshire and the Humber said they would pay a voluntary levy to support homeless people compared to 56% nationally and nearly two-fifths (39%) of people from the region would fund schemes to boost Wi-Fi speeds compared to only 30% nationally. Elsewhere, people in the South East expressed the greatest willingness (64%) to pay extra tax to fund the police while people in the North East were keenest to apply a voluntary levy to reduce dog fouling (40% compared to 32% nationally).