Council tax bills '˜could rise for next four years'

Council taxpayers in the East Riding face seeing their bills rise for the next four years.

This year’s proposed increase of 3.99 per cent - just under the level which would trigger a referendum - could be matched for the following three years to make inroads on £60m savings East Riding Council has to make by 2020.

If the four-year increases are bought in a Band D household currently paying £1212 council tax - excluding police and fire precepts - will go up £205 to £1417.

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Age UK East Riding said it would put a burden on older people who were already struggling, while the TaxPayers’ Alliance said it was “quite an ask.”

Although this year’s council tax increase is the first since 2010, the pressure group pointed out that in the past 19 years, there had been 13 rises.

A report to a full council meeting next Thursday said they had identified the majority of savings but there was a £17m shortfall which would increase to nearly £40m without the year-on-year rises.

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “That’s a considerable tax hike which will hit residents hard.

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“Councils pleading poverty seem to forget taxpayers are also hit by financial constraints and are already paying a huge amount in taxes.”

Two per cent of this year’s 3.99 per cent increase will be ring-fenced to go towards care for older people. However £9.4m of reserves are still having to be raided as it is still not enough.

Alan Precious, from Age UK East Riding, said: “Any increase in the adult care fund budget is welcomed as it is greatly needed, but obviously we are very concerned for those older people who are already struggling to make ends meet and who will then have to pay the higher rate of council tax.”

Deputy leader Coun Jonathan Owen, who chairs the health and wellbeing board, said he personally felt the rises were necessary to secure the future for adult social care in the East Riding.