Councillors approve increase in council tax

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Job losses, a council tax hike and removal of benefits are some of the cuts given the go-ahead by Barnsley Council this week.

The proposed budget for the financial year 2014/2015 has been approved by the cabinet this week.

Plans to be implemented from the end of March include a 1.9 per cent increase to council tax, which equates to an additional 44p per week for a Band D property.

Council tax has been frozen for four years, but councillors say that the budget gap the freeze is creating is no longer sustainable.

Other proposals included were negotiations over a 
1 per cent pay award for local government employees, a five-year phasing out of the council tax discount for over-65s and reduction of 45 posts across services to add to the 760 lost in the last three years.

Coun Alan Gardiner, cabinet spokesman for corporate services, said: “The days of the council being able to provide borough-wide services for as many people as possible are gone.

“While costs continue to grow, by 2016/17 we’ll have lost £70 million per year from government, meaning we have 40 per cent less money coming in from them than when this cuts agenda started.”