Tax bill to be finalised next week

SUFFOLK'S county-wide tax bill will be settled next week.County councillors are set to approve an overall increase of 2.5 per cent for the financial year starting in April.

SUFFOLK'S county-wide tax bill will be settled next week.

County councillors are set to approve an overall increase of 2.5 per cent for the financial year starting in April.

That will mean overall council tax bills throughout the county should go up by less than three per cent when borough or district, police authority, and parish council elements are taken into consideration.

The final figure is lower than that originally proposed - last month the council said it hoped to bring in a rise of 2.9 pc during the next financial year.

That would have been the lowest rise it had ever set, but after further checking the council was able to bring it down further.

The increase is to be debated at the full meeting of Suffolk County Council on Monday.

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And it seems certain to get backing from all sides of the council - including the Conservative opposition.

Tory leader Jeremy Pembroke said: "We shall not be putting forward an alternative budget this year.

"The increase this year is not the issue, I don't think many people will think that 2.5 pc is unreasonable in the circumstances.

"We could have picked holes and tried to bring it down to 2.3 pc, but that's not really the point.

"What is at issue, and what we shall be fighting on is the increases that came in during the first two years of the current administration, especially the 18.5 pc rise in 2003.

"It is these increases which have led to council tax overall going up unreasonably during the last few year years - and it is those increases we will be campaigning about."

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