For the fifth year in a row Independent Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, has kept the Mayoral council tax precept at zero. Mayor Driscoll has the power to raise revenue by charging a council tax precept, but has instead funded 100% of the North of Tyne activities by levering in money from central government and private investment.
Speaking before a scheduled meeting of the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) Cabinet, Mayor Driscoll said:
“People in the North East are caught in the jaws of a cost-of-living crisis. They don’t need more taxes.
“We’re often told it’s a choice between taxes or borrowing. As North of Tyne Mayor I’ve raised no taxes and borrowed no money. Instead, I’ve levered in hundreds of millions from private investment to create thousands of jobs, build homes, provide free training courses, tackle child poverty and build the green economy of the future.
“As Mayor the total amount of tax I have raised from residents is zero pounds and zero pence. The economic growth we create funds all our activities. The NTCA hasn’t cost the taxpayer a penny.
“The funding we receive from central government is on what’s called a ‘gain share’ model. It’s reviewed by the Treasury every five years, and we have to prove value for money. For every £1 we invest in job creation, over £3 is returned to the Treasury in payroll taxes alone. The organisation I lead is a wealth-generating centre and therefore has no net cost to the taxpayer locally or nationally.
“People can have confidence that under my leadership the public finances are well managed.”