RESIDENTS in the borough of Havant will soon have to fork out more for their council tax after councillors voted to increase the charge last night.
For the second year running Havant Borough Council will hike its share of the fee by 2.99 per cent – bringing the authority an additional £242,000 over the financial year 2019/20.
It marks the second time the council has raised the tax in 10 years, with people living in Band D properties now having to pay £204.48.
While the increase is equivalent to an extra £5.95 per year, UKIP councillor for Battins, Malc Carpenter, fears his constituents will ‘suffer greatly’.
‘I represent one of the poorest wards and the whole of the Leigh Park area is very deprived,' he said.
‘I’m so concerned that people now will be pushed over the edge.’
Part of the decision to increase council tax as the authority balances its £14.2m budget is a move to give the its estimated 250 employees a two per cent pay rise, in line with a national campaign for local government workers.
Councillor Tim Pike, Havant Borough Council’s deputy leader and cabinet lead for finance and regeneration, said the increase was to ‘maintain the services residents want and to give staff the pay rise they deserve’.
The increase was one of a number of recommendations debated last night as councillors unanimously voted to approve the 2019/20 budget.