Council tax increases welcomed

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TRADE union GMB has congratulated councils who plan to raise their tax bills.

Officials say in light of the government slashing budgets it’s high time councils said ‘enough is enough’.

Portsmouth City Council is increasing bills by two per cent and East Hampshire District Council has agreed the same increase.

Hampshire County Council, Havant Borough Council, Fareham Borough Council and Gosport Borough Council have agreed to freeze their council tax.

Brian Strutton, of GMB, said: ‘The UK Government has slashed council budgets and services and jobs and it’s high time councils said “enough is enough”.

‘Front-line council services have been pared to the bone and can’t be cut any more.

‘It will be totally disingenuous if government ministers criticise councils who are trying to protect their local communities.

‘Councils also need to do the right thing by their staff – after a three-year pay freeze I hope that at a national negotiating meeting on February 2 we will see an offer to begin rebuilding local authority pay.’