Ipswich set for higher council tax bills
By Graham DinesPolitical EditorIPSWICH'S Labour councillors are preparing to add more financial misery to the town's council taxpayers by planning an increase of almost 12%.
IPSWICH'S Labour councillors are preparing to add more financial misery to the town's council taxpayers by planning an increase of almost 12%.
If approved, it means the total tax burden for band D homeowners in the town will jump almost £200 this year to £1,255.37.
Council tax bills for Ipswich are made up of three elements – Suffolk County Council, the borough council and Suffolk Police Authority.
Suffolk County Council's portion is set to rise 18.41% from £751.41 to £889.74 for the average band B homeowner.
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The police authority is demanding an extra 33.4%, from £82.08 to £109.49, and Ipswich Borough Council's increase of 11.92% from £228.87 to £256.14 will take the total from £1,062.36 to £1,255.37.
Ipswich residents pay the highest tax bills in Suffolk. Band D tax totals in neighbouring districts from April are expected to be: Mid Suffolk, £1,149.70; Babergh, £1,157.23; Suffolk Coastal, £1,143.23; and St Edmundsbury, £1,153.63.
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Meanwhile, Suffolk County Council's proposed 18.4% council tax increase has have been condemned by opposition Conservatives who have called for huge efficiency savings to offset the rise.
Ruling Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors have refused to blame the rise on the Government's decision to divert resources from the South and East to inner cities in the North and Midlands, but claimed the need for extra cash was due to Suffolk's spiralling social care budget.
But Peter Aldous, deputy leader of the Conservatives at County Hall, said: "Throughout last summer, Labour and the Liberal Democrats were speaking in terms of an 11% to 14% increase, in itself difficult to accept.
"Now, after what has been described as a 'neutral' grant settlement from the Government, we are suddenly being told that this increase will be over 18%."
The Labour-Liberal Democrat-run executive committee – opposition councillors are banned from taking part – will meet next week to recommend the 18.4% increase, which will be discussed at a full meeting of the county council on February 27.