Surrey Council has abandoned plans to hold a referendum proposing a 15% rise in council tax to fund social care.
The council last month announced plans to hold the vote on the tax rise (see BREAKING NEWS: Surrey Council to put 15% social care tax hike to voters).
In an abrupt u-turn the council has voted to approve a 4.99% rise in council tax following a recommendation from leader David Hodge.
Mr Hodge said: “The government has listened and we believe the government now understands. We are therefore willing to take a risk that a solution will soon be found to the issue that all councils face. However, if there isn’t any progress in finding a solution to the adult social care crisis, our situation will become intolerable.”
The change of plan prompted an allegation of a “sweetheart deal” by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during Prime Minister’s questions.
The council responded: “Surrey’s decision not to proceed with a 15% council tax increase was ours alone and there has been no deal between Surrey County Council and the government.”
One in three of England’s largest councils have proposed a 4.99% rise in council tax, the highest rate that is allowed without holding a referendum (see Need for social care funding triggers 5% council tax rise for millions).
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said this week that the UK tax burden is to rise to its highest level in 30 years.