Suffolk's double whammy

By Graham DinesPolitical EditorRESIDENTS are facing a possible double whammy of paying more in Council Tax and receiving fewer services for their money.

By Graham Dines

Political Editor

RESIDENTS are facing a possible double whammy of paying more in Council Tax and receiving fewer services for their money.

Some councils are now having to consider putting up taxes, cutting public services or even axing jobs to balance the books after being told they will be getting less money next year from the Government than they had hoped.

But householders are unlikely to face a repeat of this year's record increase in Council Tax bills in Suffolk because the Government has indicated it will not tolerate rises of more than 10%.

The seven borough and district councils of Suffolk were left reeling after the Government announced a below-inflation rise in their Whitehall grants for next year.

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Suffolk County Council, which said it needed an extra £29million to protect services, will only get a £21m increase and finance bosses said it would now have to work harder to find the additional savings needed.

Conservative MPs in the county criticised the way rural authorities had been treated.

David Ruffley, the Bury St Edmunds MP, called the grants "savage", while Richard Spring, the West Suffolk MP, said they would put the borough and district councils under "unprecedented pressure".

graham.dines@eadt.co.uk

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