HAMPSHIRE civic bosses have backed proposals for a 2.99 per cent council tax increase, which will generate £18 million for the authority.

Its Conservative-leading frontbench picked through the proposals at the council’s cabinet meeting, agreeing that the rise was needed to “protect” services.

The plans will now need to go to full council on February 14 before they can be officially signed off.

If approved, this will see taxpayers living in Band D homes shelling out £1,236.87 during the 2019/20 financial year – up from £1,200.96 in 2018/19. Councillors say that this will aid its bid to save another £80 million by 2021.

Council leader, Cllr Roy Perry said: “Our aim has been, and will continue to be, to protect services on which Hampshire residents depend – particularly those for the most vulnerable in our communities, especially the children in our care and the growing number of elderly residents needing support. The rising pressures on services mean that our planned savings programme needs to deliver £140 million by April this year.”

As reported, the council increased its tax by 5.99 per cent last year, after central government allowed councils that funded social care to ask residents for more of a contribution.