The City Council today set its budget, including its element of Council Tax, for 2024/25 at a meeting of the Council (Friday 1 March).

The budget focuses on key areas that will ensure the ongoing success of the city – and continues to support Manchester residents through the cost-of-living crisis.

Following a challenging Government funding settlement, Manchester has been able to balance its budget for 2024/25 through a range of measures including the planned use of reserves, careful management of current budgets and budget cuts.

However, reserves can only be used once, and therefore the Council only uses them when they are needed the most. Once they are gone, it reduces the city’s ability to absorb the impact of financial challenges in the futures.

Austerity measures and cuts to local authority funding have meant Manchester City Council has had to make £443m in savings since 2010, against a backdrop of unprecedented population growth, inflationary pressures and rising demand for services, especially for vulnerable young people and adults. 

The Council is committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable people have the necessary support, with funded services that meet their needs, while help is available for those struggling through the cost-of-living crisis.

The spending plan also looks to make sure Manchester remains a great place to live, with a strong and inclusive economy, while also tackling ongoing hardship and inequality, and boosting opportunities for a better future for all.

However, Manchester will continue to face challenges and will be under pressure in future years to balance its budget and make sure essential services can continue, if Government finance settlements do not help meet rising costs and inflationary pressures. Currently, the funding gap expected in 2025/26 is £29m, which will increase to £41m by 2026/27.

The meeting of the Council also approved a 4.99% Council Tax increase, in line with most English Councils, to make sure that essential services are available to Manchester people. This consists of a 2.99% general increase plus a 2% precept to support adult social care costs.

Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of the Council said:

“We know that times are tough for lots of people in Manchester as the cost-of-living crisis continues, but we are determined to make sure that our city remains a great place to live, work and visit.

“Our finances, not unlike Councils across the country, are also struggling to keep up with the rising costs and demand, particularly in the care sector. This is why making the most of the resources available to us is more important than ever. This is about funding the essentials now, while also tackling long-term hardship and taking every opportunity to create a better future for our residents.

“We know our residents want us to prioritise spending on the things that are most important to them – including support for our most vulnerable – and these services have been protected and account for a large portion of our budget.

“While at the same time we aren’t losing sight of the services everybody relies on, despite the financial challenges, the Council remains committed providing a vital support to those who need it the most while continuing to invest in the services which help the city to thrive and make it a great place to live in.”


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