Welsh council tax bills to increase by 4%

13 Mar 15

Council tax bills in Wales are set to rise by an average of 4% in 2015/16, costing the average Band D household £52, an analysis by CIPFA has found.

The institute’s annual Welsh council tax survey found the increase was above the average 1% rise in England, where the Westminster government has imposed a referendum cap requiring increases of 2% or above to be approved in local votes.

Today’s report found councils in Wales have been able to generate an extra £100m to spend on public services since 2010/11 due to increases not being subject to a 2% cap. Cumulative council tax increases are now costing families £84 more a year, the report stated.

CIPFA in Wales head Chris Tidswell said that, as councils had not been subject to the same referendum cap as in England, they have been free to set council tax rates to reflect local need.

‘Many households in Wales are struggling to manage their budgets so an increase above the rate of Retail Prices Index measure of inflation will not be welcome.

‘But it is also important to look at the other side of this increase which is an additional £100m a year in resources to be used locally.’

Tidswell added that many local authorities in Wales were facing cuts from the Welsh Government while demand for services was rising, leaving them to face an uncertain future, which could include council mergers.

‘Any additional revenue from council tax in this context may contribute to relieving some of the pressures facing services which serve local communities,’ he concluded.

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