Tax bills to break £1k barrier
HUNDREDS of thousands of taxpayers in Suffolk will see their council tax bills soar above £1,000 for the first time next year.County and district councils are waiting to hear how the Government will share out the pot of cash for local authorities – and fear paltry settlements could force council tax hikes of more than 10 per cent.
HUNDREDS of thousands of taxpayers in Suffolk will see their council tax bills soar above £1,000 for the first time next year.
County and district councils are waiting to hear how the Government will share out the pot of cash for local authorities – and fear paltry settlements could force council tax hikes of more than 10 per cent.
Suffolk County Council has used rough estimates to predict an increase of 11pc and 14pc in its share of the council tax – which currently accounts for about 80pc of the bill.
But even just a rise of just 5pc will push the tariff for people living in Band D properties in most of the county's seven districts to more than £1,000.
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Chris Mole, the Labour MP for Ipswich, said a rise of more than 10pc would not come as a surprise as the core local authority services "continue to be under significant pressure".
He said: "I'm sure the county council is taking those things into account and so I think people are still getting value for money.
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"The problem is for some older people with fixed incomes to whom those sorts of rises can be quite a challenge. It begs the question whether council tax is the right mechanism to pay for those services."
But Richard Spring, West Suffolk's Conservative MP, said the continuing rise in council tax across the county was "outrageous" and urged council chiefs to protest.
"We have seen rises six or seven times the rate of inflation but we have not seen improvements – far from it," he said.
The Government is set to make an announcement on changes to spending formulas, which will decide councils' budgets, early next month.
For planning purposes, Suffolk County Council used an estimate of between 11pc and 14pc. But these figures were liable to change.