Ipswich council tax bills set to rise by 4.8% – and similar in rest of Suffolk
Council tax bills in Ipswich are set to rise by just under 4.8% in April after all the elements are added into the equation.
That means the occupant of a Band B home – the most numerous single band in the borough – is likely to pay just over £63 more in council tax next year. Their bill will go up from nearly £1,324 a year to just under £1,387 a year.
The rise in other parts of the county is not so easy to calculate because they also contain bills for parish councils – but the percentage rise is expected to be similar.
The council tax bills are made up of county council demands (up 4.99%), district/borough council demands (likely to be up 2.99% in Ipswich), and Police and Crime Commissioner demands (up 6.8%).
Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said his authority had still to decide how much to put up council taxes – but the government had given a clear indication of what it expected.
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He said: “They had said wages would go up 1% and we could put up council taxes by just under 2%. Then in the local government settlement they changed that saying wages would go up 2% and we could put up council taxes by just under 3%.
“You don’t have to be a genius to see what they are saying. But putting up wages an extra 1% will cost us £250,000 and putting up council tax bills by 1% will bring us an extra £130,000 – so it will still give us a problem!”
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Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore is proposing putting up his element of council tax bills after the government eased restrictions.
He ran a poll which showed two thirds of people backed the rise to improve police funding in the county – and there were mixed reactions to the news online.
Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin said he was heartened that recent polls suggested people were prepared to pay more in taxes for vital public services like police, the NHS and schools.
But he still felt the system of council tax was grossly unfair. He said: “Is it right that someone earning £20m a year and living in a mansion in Band H is only paying three times as much council tax as a family living in a Band A property and only earning £20,000 a year? I don’t think so.
“If the taxation system was fairer we could afford more vital public services without having to hit those who cannot afford to pay tax rises like this.”