Liverpool mayor rules out council tax referendum

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said he will take legal advice on pulling out of new "super council".

LIVERPOOL will not hold a council tax referendum on a six per cent increase in charges, despite the "dire" financial situation facing the city, mayor Joe Anderson has said.

The council's Government funding has been cut by 58 per cent since 2010, falling from £524m to £268m - and another £90m of savings have to be found over the next three years.

Anderson said the council's Budget Simulator consultation, which saw 10,000 people try to balance the city's budget, showed clear public support for protecting services for the most vulnerable.

However, when respondents were asked if they would support a six per cent increase in council tax ring-fenced for social care, 57 per cent said no.

"I said I would listen to the feedback we got. I will therefore not be proposing to hold a referendum on any additional increase beyond the 4.99 per cent limit set by Government," Anderson said.

However, he warned that the council "cannot avoid the facts".

"The reality is, we are facing the toughest financial challenges we have ever faced in our history," the mayor said.

"There are going to be some closures of buildings, reductions in services and jobs lost as we try and close the gaps caused by having less funding."

Anderson said work is continuing to "prioritise the priorities" in the final budget, which will be made public for further consultation later in the year.