Page last updated at 09:31 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 10:31 UK

Council tax rebate is confirmed

Council taxpayers in Lincolnshire are to get a rebate after the House of Commons officially approved the capping of the police authority's budget.

The government stepped in after the authority increased its part of the council tax by 79% this year.

The rise has now been limited to 26%, but the cost of rebilling will cost an extra half a million pounds.

Local Government Minister John Healey told MPs the action was "regrettable" but necessary.

Police Minister Tony McNulty has said he was willing to meet the police authority to discuss the problems facing the county.

Lincolnshire MP Quentin Davies, who represents Grantham and Stamford, has called for the chairwoman of the police authority, Angela Crowe, to resign over the issue but she has refused.

'Excessive increases'

It is estimated that the authority will have to pay 500,000 to send out new bills to households.

Mr Healey said he was satisfied the force would not have to reduce its number of officers.

Cheshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire Police Authorities will have unchanged council tax levels for 2008/09, but the government will limit the maximum increase in their precepts to 3% in 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Mr Healey told MPs: "These decisions really are not taken lightly by the Government, but there is no excuse for setting excessive council tax increases and we remain ready to use these powers where necessary."

Mr Davies said the police authority was to blame for the "unjustified" request for a 79% increase.




SEE ALSO
Police authority defends actions
03 Jul 08 |  Lincolnshire
MP wants police authority to go
02 Jul 08 |  Lincolnshire
Long wait for council tax bills
27 Jun 08 |  Lincolnshire
Residents to pay extra for police
27 Feb 08 |  Lincolnshire

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