Households across Leeds will have to find almost 10p extra per week to pay for their fire and rescue service next year.
West Yorkshire Fire Brigade Union secretary Dave Williams said the £4.99 a year precept rise for band D households is ‘vital’ in order to maintain the life-saving service.
He said: “It is difficult asking people who are already feeling a squeeze to pay more but the people benefitting will be the people paying and if it protects front line fire fighting I support it.”
The precept increase was announced last week to ease the pressure of drastic cuts to the local fire and rescue service.
Six fire stations are already lined up for closure or will merge as part of a £7m cost-cutting scheme and 200 full-time firefighter jobs will be lost.
Councillor Mehboob Khan, chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “The fire and rescue service is going through a spell of unprecedented change at the moment and West Yorkshire has had to make some difficult decisions in order to maintain a high quality service.”
Chief fire officer Simon Pilling said: “This increase means we can invest in vital projects, such as fire safety and retained firefighter recruitment.
“As always, our priority is making West Yorkshire safer and the people of West Yorkshire can rest assured that they will continue to receive the highest quality of service.”
West Yorkshire has lost a total of £5.9m in revenue support grants over the past two years and will lose a further £7.5 million over the next two years.
Savings of more than £7m still need to be made over the next five years.
Average households are paying under £1 per week for the service.