Council tax bills set for biggest increase in a decade, CIPFA finds

4 Mar 17

Council tax in England is set to rise by an average of 4% next year – the biggest increase in a decade – CIPFA’s annual survey has revealed.

Bills for an average bank D property will rise by £60.94 to £1,590.53.

Councils in England have been permitted to increase the social care precept by 3%, up from the 2% previously allowed on top of the 1.99% annual increase allowed for general, non-ring-fenced council tax.

CIPFA’s survey, which received responses from two thirds of councils in England, found that 95% of councils with social care responsibilities will be setting the precept rate at least 2%, while 70% will be taking full advantage of the new front loading flexibility and levying a 3% increase.

The income raised across England from the precept is expected to be £554m, 89% of the total possible amount of £624m.

Sean Nolan, director for local government at CIPFA said: “The fact that we are facing the single highest council tax increase in a decade is all the more remarkable because it comes after six years (2010/11 to 2015/16) of very low increases, actively encouraged by government who until last year had offered a council tax freeze grant if councils did not raise theirs at all.

“The subsequent removal of this freeze grant shows a clear shift in public policy in general, but also a reflection of the strains being caused by social care pressures. We can expect these levels of increase to continue at least for next year.”

Any council planning an increase in excess of 1.99% to the general, non-ring-fenced council tax need to put their plans to a local referendum.

Surrey County Council had planned a 15% hike but have since rowed back on the plan, citing government promises to address social care funding.

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and

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