THE leaders of North Yorkshire’s fire service are set to consider inflation-busting rises in its council-tax demand.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority has launched a public consultation exercise over its precept after announcing it had fallen behind in its drive to save £2.5 million over two years, and the money it has saved has been eroded by a £384,000 increase in expenditure and £157,000 reduction in income.

The projected £307,000 increase in the service’s running costs, combined with Government grant reductions, has suggested a 7.5 per cent council-tax rise would be needed for a balanced 2014/15 budget, adding £4.65 a year to band D bills.

The Government has said increases of more than two per cent will require a referendum. The authority says front-line services will not be affected whatever the tax decision is when it sets its budget next month.