English local authorities hike up council tax by 4.7%

27 Mar 19

Local authorities in England will put up the average band D council tax by 4.7% next financial year, government stats have shown.

The average English band D council tax will rise from £1,671 in 2018-19 to £1,750 in 2019-20 – an increase of £78, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data has shown today.

Shire areas will have the biggest increase in monetary term, going up £82 to £1,826 next financial year. 

The council tax requirement in 2019-20 is £1.9bn higher than for 2018-19 at £31.4bn, of which £200m (0.6%) will be raised through the adult social care precept.

Eighty-five of 151 adult social care authorities will use some or all of their remaining ability to raise the adult social care precept (up to 2%), the MHCLG figures showed.

The County Councils Network umbrella-group said that county residents were “bearing the brunt of historical underfunding of their areas”.

It said residents in band D properties in the following areas would be paying more than £2,000 next month – Rutland (£2,043), Nottingham (£2,038) Dorset (£2,038), Lewes (£2,024) and Newark and Sherwood (£2,024).

Nick Rushton, CCN’s finance spokesperson and leader of Leicestershire County Council, said: “No-one wants to put up council tax, but many of us have very little option with county authorities facing the most severe financial pressures.

“Council tax rises alone will not offset the funding pressures social care authorities face. This has left most of us unable to turn down desperately needed resource, particularly when there is finite money for care services.”

Richard Watts, chair of the umbrella-group Local Government Association’s resources board, said: “Between 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost almost 60p out of every £1 the government had provided for services.

“Faced with a government funding settlement that assumes maximum council tax rises and such funding pressures, many councils feel they have little choice but to ask residents to pay more council tax again this year to help them try and protect their local services.”

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