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WOOLAS CONFIRMS FUNDING PLANS

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Councils will get above-inflation grant increases for the next two years, local government minister Phil Woolas has...
Councils will get above-inflation grant increases for the next two years, local government minister Phil Woolas has said.

He confirmed that grants will total£62bn next year and£65bn in 2007/08, increases of 4.5% and 5% respectively (LGC, 8 December 2005). Inflation is at 2%.

Mr Woolas said: 'Given this substantial investment, we expect all authorities to budget prudently and not place excessive demands on council taxpayers.'

He warned they could have tax increases capped if these exceeded 5%.

But a Local Government Association survey has revealed that councils still face job and service cuts.

It says 78% are planning tax rises of between 3-5%, and 28% expect to cut jobs and front line service to hold down increases.

LGA chairman Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart (Con) said the grant levels took no account of increased spending pressures.

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