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Nine in ten face shock council tax rise: report

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

Households across the UK are facing inflation-busting council tax rises as government paves the way to add to bills to help fund adult social care.

90 per cent of local authorities will increase charges from April 2017 as they take advantage of the new rules.

152 out of the UK’s 353 local councils will be allowed to raise council tax by 3 per cent and more than two-thirds have said they will implement the full amount.

Residents in some areas will see their council tax inflated by as much as 5 per cent, adding £76 a year to the typical bill.

Comparing prices for vital utilities will become ever more important as households face yet another squeeze.

Real wages are falling as inflation overtakes weak pay rises, so families now have less to spend on the same services.

According to the Local Government Association (LGA) councils have found themselves “unable to turn down the chance to raise desperately needed money for local services.”

But the LGA warned that the increases were unlikely to prevent further cutbacks.

Only 22 of England’s councils said they will freeze their council tax in the coming year. This comes in stark contrast to the last five years when 90 percent of local authorities froze or cut council tax charges.

In his latest Budget speech, the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced £2 billion additional funding for social care for councils in England between 2017-2020. He also announced the government would publish a green paper outlining proposals to, “put the social care system on a more secure and sustainable long-term footing”.

Cllr Claire Kober, Chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: “Councils continue to have to make difficult decisions about which services are scaled back or stopped altogether to plug funding gaps.

“Plugging growing funding gaps must be a priority for government to allow councils to continue to deliver much valued local services.”

But responding to the news of the tax hike, General Secretary of the public sector trade union GMB Tim Roache described the increases as simply “a sticking plaster on a gaping wound.”

Tom Rodgers author picture

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Tom is a tech journalist and former Editor at BroadbandDeals.co.uk.

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