Taxes in Hampshire could go up to keep key services afloat

Councillor Roy Perry

Councillor Roy Perry

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COUNCIL tax is set to go up across Hampshire.

The county council is proposing an increase of almost four per cent.

That includes two per cent to specifically fund adult social care.

The increase would generate an extra £20m of revenue for the authority, which oversees schools, roads and adult services across Hampshire, apart from in Portsmouth and Southampton.

Leaders say the increase comes after the government grant to the council has been cut by £29m more than originally expected.

For residents in an average band D property, this would equate to an extra £41.40 for the year 2016/17.

Council leader Councillor Roy Perry said: ‘We are facing the most challenging period of the prolonged national austerity measures.

‘This means having to deliver savings of £98m by April 2017, rising to a further £140m of savings by 2019/20.’

He added: ‘While a proposed increase of 3.99 per cent would contribute towards making up some of the lost grant and social care costs next year, we would still need to use £55m of reserves to plug the remaining gap, leaving us with nothing for future years. We had always anticipated using some reserves to balance the budget next year to give us the time to reshape and modernise our business, but we had not expected to need to use so much.’

There will be a meeting tomorrow to debate the changes.

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