Tax debate kicked off with warning

AS SUFFOLK'S politicians today began a debate about next year's county hall budget, there was a warning that not enough was being done to cut costs.Opposition Conservative councillors were warning that the county's pension deficit was growing out of control because not enough was being done to plug holes in the fund.

AS SUFFOLK'S politicians today began a debate about next year's county hall budget, there was a warning that not enough was being done to cut costs.

Opposition Conservative councillors were warning that the county's pension deficit was growing out of control because not enough was being done to plug holes in the fund.

The Conservative group's deputy leader, Peter Aldous, said the council had not done enough to cut its costs – especially in the disposal of property which is not needed.

"It is very disappointing that the Administration has so far failed to come up with a means of tackling the deficit in the County Council's pension scheme by any other way than passing all of the burden onto the taxpayer," he said,


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"The much-heralded review of council property has yet to make any meaningful progress in helping us use our property in a more practical and economical way.

"Furthermore the Administration has failed to extend these into a radical review of the Council's whole management structure, missing the opportunity to keep central overheads to a minimum and ensuring that resources are concentrated on front line services."

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Mr Aldous was preparing to speak in a debate on the budget-setting process in a full meeting at county hall.

His call came as Roger Marchant of pressure group PACTS (Protest Against Council Tax in Suffolk) said national research suggested that massive increases were a result of confusion between central and local government.

"The current system enables the councils to blame the government and the government to blame the councils for increases.

"We want to see a standstill budget next year – if this was the private sector that could be achieved.

"But as long as Whitehall and the county council can blame each other for increases, council taxes will continue going up," he said.

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