Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Council Tax Rise 'Can't Be Ruled Out'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Council Tax Rise 'Can't Be Ruled Out'

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Proctor Local Government Reporter kate.proctor@ncjmedia.co.uk

A LOCAL authority is considering raising council tax as it reaches the "end of the line" in cutbacks to office jobs.

The leader of South Tyneside Council, Iain Malcolm, has said he is considering raising council tax for the first time since 2011 after accepting the Government's freeze deal for four years in a row.

He joins Newcastle City Council in publicly declaring that a council tax rise may be on the horizon if fellow councillors vote for the change in setting their 2015-16 budgets in March.

The Labour leader, said: "I can't give a guarantee that council tax won't be increased in the next financial year.

"We are at the end of the line in finding these back office savings. Now we are looking at how we can find these frontline services in new innovative ways. "We've done asset transfers. We will have to have further talks with councils to see who might take the lead in certain areas."

However, he said any potential rise would fall short of 2% - the figure which the Government has said would trigger a referendum with the public.

He said: "We couldn't afford a referendum and no council has gone for a referendum because you wouldn't win. No one would vote for that, people would just vote no. …

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