Pembrokeshire, facing a potential council tax increase of 7.5 per cent, still has the lowest rate in Wales, giving the county a funding disadvantage.

Speaking during a February 13 discussion of the 2023 budget at Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance Alec Cormack proposed a 7.5 per cent increase to fellow members, which was later supported.

This would – if agreed by a meeting of full council on March 2 – increase the annual bill of the average Band D property by £62.46, to £1,311.63.

Pembrokeshire has a funding gap of £18.6m, and a projected funding gap £50.7m up to 2027.

Cllr Cormack said Pembrokeshire still had the lowest tax rate in Wales: “Despite having increases of 12.5 per cent, 9.92 per cent, five per cent, 3.75 per cent and five per cent since 2018-19, the council continues to have the lowest council tax ‘Band D’ in Wales for 2022-23 at £1,249.17.

“Our neighbouring local authorities Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire were at £1,447.90 and £1,396.04 respectively.

“If the council had Ceredigion’s ‘Band D’ council tax for 2022-23, it would have had an additional £11.104m income and if it had Carmarthenshire’s ‘Band D’ council tax for 2022-23, it would have had an additional £8.206m income.”

Pembrokeshire ratepayers are still forecast to have the lowest council tax bills after all local authorities have set their levels.

A report for members stated: “Having the lowest council tax ‘Band D’ means that any council tax percentage increase in Pembrokeshire generates less income than the equivalent increases in other Welsh local authorities.”

Based on the current 2022-23 figures, a one per cent increase in council tax would net Pembrokeshire an extra £12.49 a year for each Band D property, £1.99 less than neighbouring Ceredigion,  £1.47 less than Carmarthenshire; and £5.19 less than highest council tax authority Blaenau Gwent.

Councillor Guy Woodham asked: “Are we delaying a problem? Pembrokeshire is being disadvantaged by having the lowest council tax.”

Leader David Simpson said historically low council tax rates in the county had been “a mistake”.

“Low percentage increases over the years show what a mistake it is; I was told: ‘Keep it low and you’ll get re-elected’.

“I’m not proud to say we have the lowest council tax in Wales; I know what that means, the lowest amount to spend on our services in Wales, and I’m ashamed of that; I find that a very embarrassing situation.”Tivyside Advertiser:


We passionately believe in the value of good, trusted journalism. If you share that belief, you can experience the benefits of unlimited advert-light news access from journalists you know and trust on your favourite devices - subscribe today HERE.

With a digital subscription you will experience up to 80% less advertising, this means faster loading pages and ultimately a much better user experience. You can also sign up for our free daily newsletters HERE.