Residents will suffer if council bosses in York reject a Government offer which would freeze council tax bills, according to one city MP.

Chancellor George Osborne said this week that £450 million would be provided to help local authorities resist tax rises next year, but City of York Council leader James Alexander said a two per cent increase for York had been budgeted for as the alternative would be service cuts.

York’s bills rose 2.9 per cent this year, and York Outer MP Julian Sturdy, claimed a two per cent increase for 2013/14 would mean the worst of both worlds for the city, as it would be below the threshold required for a public referendum to be necessary.

He said: “The decision to push ahead with such increases when so many other councils are taking advantage of the Government’s grant really does beggar belief, showing complete disregard to local taxpayers in tough economic times. The council really must rethink this decision and work with the Government to freeze council tax across York next year.”