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Council tax freeze on the cards
10:25am Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
COUNCIL tax is set to be frozen in St Helens for the next year.
Marie Rimmer, the leader of St Helens Council, confirmed the proposals will be put forward as she addressed a cabinet meeting at the town hall.
The council is facing huge budget pressures, having already lost £36m in yearly support grants from the government.
This will increase to £50m a year by 2014/2015. The cuts have so far led to 1,010 job losses at the local authority and every council service is under review as it seeks to find savings.
Budget reports presented at cabinet detailed that the Government has offered to provide a grant to councils to freeze council tax for 2013-14.
The £660,000 grant is the equivalent to a one per cent council tax increase, according to a budget report.
If the council had wanted to raise council tax by two per cent it would have to hold a referendum, after the Government set that level.
A referendum would come at a considerable cost.
Any increases in police and fire rates could still impact on ratepayers’ bills, however.