Council tax hike will hit Duchy
Taxpayers in Cornwall are a step closer to forking out more in council tax after council chiefs yesterday approved an increase in the levy.
A 1.97% hike has been ping-ponging between full council and the cabinet over recent months whipping-up an intense political storm.
Councillors are divided on the issue with some insisting the authority has no choice but to increase the tax in the face of swingeing Government cuts.
Others insist savings can be made elsewhere thereby negating the need for a rise.
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Yesterday cabinet members met at County Hall, Truro where they approved the 1.97% increase as part of the council's business plan and budget for 2013-17.
It will now go back before full council again later this month for a final decision.
Council leader Jim Currie told the meeting: "We have got to the stage where there is no spare money.
"The outlook is grim to put it mildly.
"The country has overspent and if it were an individual it would be assessed as a very high risk and almost uncreditworthy."
On Tuesday, former council leader Alec Robertson overturned a full council decision taken last October for councillors to award themselves a pay rise from £12,000 a year to £14,600.
The move has saved the council around £300,000.
Yesterday councillors decided to recommend to full council that the money saved on expenses should be poured into the council's community chest fund to allocate discretionary grants for projects such as play areas.