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Newcastle council tax hike, GBP20m budget cuts, and higher care bills for disabled set to go ahead

Another GBP20m of budget cuts to Newcastle’s frontline services and a council tax rise of almost 4% look set to go ahead. Council bosses have confirmed their final budget proposals for the coming year, which will also mean higher social care bills for the disabled. The plans, first revealed on the day after December’s general election, are expected to be approved by Newcastle City Council’s cabinet next week before the budget is formally agreed in early March.

Newcastle Civic Centre

The authority, which has had to slash its spending by more than GBP300m amid government cuts since 2010, says it has prioritised “supporting children and vulnerable people”.

However, opposition councillors claimed the administration had refused to consider “credible alternatives” to the latest cuts. A proposed 3.95% rise in council tax bills, 2% of which would be to pay for social care, will equate to an extra GBP43.27 a year for Band A properties, GBP64.90 for Band D, up to a maximum GBP129.80 for Band H. Almost half of the GBP20.3m savings are earmarked to come from overstretched social care services.

Full story here.