COUNCIL taxpayers in Cumbria should expect a four per cent hike in bills next year, a meeting has heard.

Earlier this month chancellor Sajid Javid announced he was ‘turning the page on austerity’ and pledged more money for local Government and adult social care.

But leaders on the Labour and Lib Dem-run county council cabinet said the extra cash made no difference to its need to find savings of more than £45 million.

A 3.99 percent rise amounts to a hike of around £35-a-year for a Band A property, and £53-a-year for Band D.

Labour leader Cllr Stewart Young said he greeted the chancellor’s statement with ‘hollow laughter’ as the council had taken a £272 million budget hit since 2010.

Cllr Young told a full council meeting in Kendal: “Clearly there isn’t an end to austerity. While the spending review may bring some respite, it’s far from sufficient to reverse the damage to local Government.

"Will our planned budget cuts over the next couple of years still go ahead? I think the answer is yes.”

The authority plans to increase council tax by two per cent in 2020-21 and again levy an additional two per cent for adult social care, the meeting was told.

It continued to face rising costs helping children in the care system and the ‘demographic timebomb’ of adult social care, said Cllr Young.

Cllr Peter Thornton, the Liberal Democrat cabinet member for finance, said the extra funding would buy the council ‘time’ rather than solve its shortfall.

Cllr Thornton said the increase in annual spending for local government was £3.5 billion with £1 billion for adult social care.

A further £500 million for social care needs to be raised through a two per cent levy on council tax, he said.

Cllr Thornton, the Lib Dem member for Kendal Strickland and Fell, said: “The green paper on social care remains buried somewhere in Whitehall. The fair funding review is delayed and the reforms to business rates retention are delayed. Funding beyond 2021 remains uncertain and the can is being kicked down the road. We all know why this is.”

The chancellor said local government was being given ‘the largest increase in spending power since 2010’ and called it a ‘solid foundation’ to protect the stability of the system in 2020.