Figures show council tax on the rise

NEW figures show how Suffolk council tax payers saw their bills increase substantially higher than other authorities, The Evening Star can reveal today.

NEW figures show how Suffolk council tax payers saw their bills increase substantially higher than other authorities, The Evening Star can reveal today.

And council tax campaigners PACTS said deputy council leader David Rowe had apologised to them for the increase they'd faced.

Figures published by the Audit Commission shows that last year's council tax rises were directly linked to the amount of money given to local authorities by the government.

A graph shows how the levels are linked – but one council is out of kilter with the rest.


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It is not named, but with a 6.1 percent increase in government grant and an 18.5pc rise in council tax, it can only be Suffolk.

"That does look like us," conceded Mr Rowe. "But if you take away the service improvements we made that would have brought our increase down to about 14pc which would have been right on the average line," he added.

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"We shall certainly bear that in mind when drawing up our budget next year."

Roger Marchant from PACTS (Protest Against Council Tax in Suffolk) said Mr Rowe and other councillors had apologised for the steep increase when they met protest leaders in early November.

"They accepted that the 100 service improvements they had made had put up council budgets by £6.75 million – and made it clear they felt it would have been better not to do that this year," he said.

"I hope they do see this as a lesson when they are calculating taxes for next year," he added.

Next year's government grant is set to be discussed by senior councillors at today's meeting of Suffolk County Council's executive committee.

However officers are still working out the full implications of the 5.7 pc increase and no decisions on council tax levels will be taken before the final settlements are decided in February next year.

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