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Government blamed for council tax rise

PUBLISHED: 20:07 25 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:26 03 March 2010

COUNCIL tax bills in the Suffolk Coastal area are set to go up by an average of about 12.4 per cent from April.

The district council is set to approve an 8.

COUNCIL tax bills in the Suffolk Coastal area are set to go up by an average of about 12.4 per cent from April.

The district council is set to approve an 8.9 per cent increase for its part of council tax bills when it meets on Thursday.

But when combined with county council and police authority elements of the bill, this will push the total increase up to 12.4 per cent.

The final bill for individual households will also include an element for town or parish councils – pushing the bill up slightly from these figures.

In the current year the average parish and town council charge in the district was £22.82. That is expected to increase by less than £1 next year.

The overall council tax increase is several times the current inflation rate figure of just two per cent – councils claim that the rise has been forced on them by a reduction in central government support and a need to spend more on vital services.

Suffolk Coastal's own element of the bill is going up less than that charged by neighbouring Ipswich – but because it is a smaller element of the whole bill, that is going up by a larger percentage rate.

Council leader Ray Herring said the increase was high because the government had set councils spending targets – but had not given them enough of an increase to meet those targets.

"We have to spend an extra £478,000 on salaries and increased costs and an extra £464,000 on other targets like best value and e-government – but the council has only given us an extra £216,000.

"It is inevitable that council tax bills will have to go up," he said.

But he felt that in comparison with other districts, the bills were acceptable. "We offer pretty good value," he said.

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