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COUNCIL TAX UP 7% SAYS TELEGRAPH AND 12-15% SAYS TIMES

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Varying predictions of the effect yesterday's standing spending assessment figures will have on next year's council...
Varying predictions of the effect yesterday's standing spending assessment figures will have on next year's council tax levels feature strongly in the Daily Telegraph and The Times.

The Telegraph (p1) says that council tax bills are likely to rise next April by 7% or more while the Times predicts that most householders face council tax increases of between 12-15% (p1).

The Telegraph reports that while councils will be allowed to spend more the grant they receive from Whitehall will be pegged back in a move to meet Treasury demands for a wider local tax base.

It says (p1) that local authority leaders disputed the figures saying they are based on what councils are actually planning to spend this year so the budget for 1994-95 represents an actual cut.

John Blundell, finance under secretary at the Association of District Councils, is reported by the Telegraph as saying many members would have to make cuts. Martin Pilgrim finance officer at the Association of Metropolitan Authorities said cash spending was effectively being cut by 1.2% which could see thousands of jobs lost.

The Times lists ten biggest gainers as: Brentwood, Tewkesbury, South Buckinghamshire, North East Derbyshire, Ashford, East Dorset, Three Rivers, Blyth Valley, Basildon and South Oxfordshire. The biggest losers are Brent, Hyndburn, Ipswich, Burnley, Hammersmith and Fulham, Luton, Wandsworth, Blackburn, Leicester and Slough.

On p11 The Times lists population, guidelines and council tax revenue figures and reports comments from the Association of Metropolitan Authorities that there will be massive cuts in frontline services.

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