Boost for Council Tax payers

By Danielle NuttallHOUSEHOLDS in Suffolk could see a smaller rise in Council Tax bills than expected after an unexpected funding boost from the Government.

By Danielle Nuttall

HOUSEHOLDS in Suffolk could see a smaller rise in Council Tax bills than expected after an unexpected funding boost from the Government.

Chancellor Gordon Brown announced in his Pre-Budget Statement he was giving local authorities across the country £406million to cut Council Tax.

Suffolk County Council has been told it will be getting £3.5m, which should allow it to reduce the increase in its Council Tax bills by about 1.6%.


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David Rowe, the county council's portfolio holder for strategic and financial planning, said: “The Chancellor announced that we should be receiving extra cash from the Government, which Suffolk will use to help offset Council Tax bills.

“This is on top of the basic government grant which was announced two weeks ago. This is unexpected and very welcome news.

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“We are still waiting to see the fine details, but we expect to receive £3.5m, this equates to reducing any increase by around 1.6%.”

Suffolk County Council - which put up this year's Council Tax bills by 18% -had said it needed an 8% rise in government grants to retain services at their existing level, but was only given an extra 5.7%.

But the authority was confident it would be able to bring in a Council Tax increase next year of below 10%.

Pressure group Protest Against Council Tax in Suffolk (PACTS) welcomed the funding boost.

PACTS leader, Reg Hartles, said: “This sounds very good, we shall be discussing it at our committee meeting today.

“But the fight goes on - I'm sure the Government would not have done this had it not been for the pressure from groups like us all over the country.”

danielle.nuttall@eadt.co.uk

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