FIRE finance chiefs have tabled proposals which would see the lowest precept rise for five years in West Yorkshire.
But they have also have warned that if ministers persist in `passing the buck' the consequence will be cuts or sky-high price rises.
West Yorkshire Fire Authority needs to increase the portion of council tax it takes, known as the precept.
The authority has proposed a rise of 4.9% for the average council tax payer.
In reality, this would translate to just over £2 for the year, or 4p a week.
The money will be added to council tax bills in Kirklees and other West Yorkshire councils.
It had been feared that rises could be as much as 11% following news that central government would only increase grant support by 2.5% for 2005/6.
In a joint statement Clr Robert Light, who chairs the authority, and finance spokesman Clr Gordon Beever said: "We promised to try and drive down the forecast precept rise while at the same time protecting essential front line services and that's exactly what's on offer."
But the pair said local cost and efficiency improvements could not be relied upon to `prop up' the budget. They added: "The government is continually making extra demands of fire authorities without coming up with the necessary financial support."