It's thought as many as 4m households could see their council tax bills rising, hitting a typical benchmark Band D bill in England by as much as £50, despite the Coalition attempting to persuade councils to hold off. Will you be hit?
Currently 34 councils, it's estimated, will be hiking rates, include Tory-controlled Surrey County (up 2.99%), Labour-controlled Nottingham City (up 3.4%) and Cambridgeshire County (up 2.95%), plus Darlington (up 3.5%) and Huntingdon (up 3.5%). (The full list, sourced from the Taxpayers' Alliance, is below.)
Eight authorities so far have indicated they will cut council tax in cash terms; these include Hammersmith and Fulham, South Oxfordshire, Stratford-on-Avon, Tendring, Windsor and Maidenhead, South Holland, Brentwood and the Greater London Authority.
Council tax bills more than doubled between 1997 and 2011. 'With two weeks to go," said Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, "we now know that the majority of councils, over 300 in fact, want to freeze bills for their residents in tough times. Not everyone has set out their budget plans yet so I expect to see those taking up the Government's freeze deal to climb further."
Value for money?Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance told AOL Money that councils are letting residents down by imposing a hike, given that so many are struggling to pay. "Over the last ten years there has already been a drastic increase in rates and, with so many other pressures on their finances, this is the last thing families need."
Sinclair added: "Councils who are refusing to freeze should think again and follow the example of other local authorities who have shown it is possible to combine quality services with lower bills, and deliver much better value for money."
Figures sourced from the Taxpayers' Alliance