Tax boost handy, but we must cut – leader

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THE freezing of council tax next year has been welcomed by Hampshire County Council’s Tory leader, Cllr Ken Thornber.

But he warned the council must still find £45m in savings in 2012-13.

Chancellor George Osborne announced plans for a second council tax freeze – the first came in April this year – at the Tory conference in Manchester yesterday.

The government will hand cash directly to councils instead of allowing them to increase tax – likely to be £13.2m in the county council’s case.

Cllr Thornber said: ‘The government should be commended for helping where it can. But this won’t cover inflation and our increased running costs, of about 4.5 per cent. We’re set to lose an extra 10.4 per cent in grants next year, about £45m.’