POLITICS
13/12/2018 12:15 GMT | Updated 13/12/2018 12:19 GMT

'Perverse' Plan For Council Tax Increase To Fund Police Sparks Anger

Labour is not happy about the plan, which could see an increase in council tax.

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Last month, the Commons public accounts committee warned that public confidence in policing was "severely dented" as forces reprioritise work in response to funding cuts.

Ministers are to allow a council tax increase to pay for extra police funding as overstretched forces struggle to contain rising crime, HuffPost UK has learned.

Police minister Nick Hurd will tell MPs this afternoon he will allow police and crime commissioners to hike the police “precept” by £2 a month for a typical household – or £24 a year.

If all English commissioners take advantage of the change it will raise more than £500million for forces in 2019/20.

Labour said it was “perverse” to hit taxpayers for cash, which only amounts to a “drop in the ocean” in the fight against violent crime.

Hurd will also set aside £150m to cover a pension shortfall which has been the subject of a bitter row with the opposition.

The money comes alongside increases in grants to PCCs of £161m, an already announced boost for counter terror units of £160m and £90m to tackle economic crime, child sex exploitation, fraud and cybercrime.

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Shadow police minister Louise Haigh said the announcement would do little to help forces fill a "financial black hole".

Shadow police minister Louise Haigh said: “Pushing the burden onto hard-pressed council tax payers is perverse and will do little to fill the financial black hole many forces are facing.

“£2.7bn worth of Tory cuts and surging violent crime have left policing in crisis and this settlement is just a drop in the ocean.

“The home secretary’s warm words have not been matched by action and it is staggering central government funding for local forces will be cut for the ninth consecutive year in real-terms leaving many chief constables forced to make tough choices in the year ahead.”

Last month, the Commons public accounts committee warned that public confidence in policing was “severely dented” as forces reprioritise work in response to funding cuts.