Councils forced to put up tax and cut services

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The Independent Online
AN EXPECTED increase in council tax in many regions of England will not ease spending cuts.

A new cash settlement for local authorities, set out by the Government yesterday may mean a rise of 7 per cent in the tax but council leaders claim that thousands of jobs remain in jeopardy and essential services will have to be cut.

The tax increase represents a cut in real terms for local authorities of about pounds 3bn.

David Curry, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, defended the settlement as 'fair and rational' and claimed it was something 'councils could live with perfectly well, provided they show discipline over wage rises'.

Fears for jobs, page 5

Letters, page 19

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