Lib Dems have condemned Hampshire's tax rise and proposed their own alternative county budget.

Lib Dem leader Coun Adrian Collett said: "Their budget proposes a tax increase of four times inflation while services are being cut.

"The subsidised bus network faces a cut of 10% and Recreation & Heritage services are reeling from a £180,000 hole in their budget, yet it is proposed to spend £95,000 on an extra edition of ‘Hampshire Now' and the £2-3 million sum spent on corporate communications remains untouched.

"The budget is full of padding," he said. "There is no reason why the increase needs to be as big as it is."

The Libs' own budget included:

* £386,000 to pay for "behaviour intervention teams" throughout the county to support schools in dealing with disruptive pupils;

* £262,000 for new rural bus services;

* £27,000 to ensure no increase in Meals on Wheels charges;

* £600,000 for Care in the Home for elderly people after a report rating Hampshire the worst in the UK for this service.