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Tax hike ruled out

PUBLISHED: 23:59 28 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:15 03 March 2010

FEARS of a 20 per cent rise in Suffolk Coastal council tax have been ruled out today.

Residents in the district could now expect a ten per cent increase due to cost-saving measures.

FEARS of a 20 per cent rise in Suffolk Coastal council tax have been ruled out today.

Residents in the district could now expect a ten per cent increase due to cost-saving measures.

But the Deputy Prime Minister is being pressed by the council to give the district a fairer deal as tax is being pushed up by additional costs from new statutory requirements and a government grant is doing little to offset this.

The council is faced with more than £700,000 of additional spending this year but the government grant has only increased by £7,000.

"The good news for our council tax payers is that our efforts to reduce our planned spending for the coming year are proving very successful – we have identified about £1 million of efficiency savings and increased income with no reductions in services," said Ray Herring, leader of Suffolk Coastal.

"This major efficiency drive has been successfully tackling the problems we are facing, but the recently announced Government revenue support grant for the coming year did very little for the people of Suffolk Coastal.

"We will write to the Deputy Prime Minister urging the Government to reconsider its treatment of this district.

"Our residents deserve a fair deal rather than the high council tax increases that the Government's policies are threatening. We will continue to do all we can to provide quality services at an affordable price, but we can only achieve this successfully if the Government supports this aim with a fair level of revenue grant," added Mr Herring.

The council is faced with £370,000 of additional costs from statutory requirements and from existing legislation, along with a further £100,000 as a result of the Chancellor's increase in National Insurance payments for employers. The national pay agreement will also increase the council's total wage bill by £250,000 more than expected.

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