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Council Tax Will Rise by a Total of £1 Billion This Year- Is It Enough?

February 27, 2018, 8:00 AM
  • Total amount of council tax going up by more than £1 billion
  • Warning that hikes won’t cover rising costs
  • Cuts still being made to local services
Your Council Tax bills could be going up by £100 next year to fund services. Image: Getty

The total amount of council tax paid in England is set to rise by more than £1 billion next year, as councils will take advantage of the new freedoms to increase bills by up to 5.99%.

This means that individual council tax bills could go up by £100 a year.

But the Local Government Association, LGA, warned that the hikes will fail to offset cuts of £1.4 billion in funding from central government and additional expenses from the national living wage.

The living wage increase was announced in the November Budget, and will come into force from April.

Despite increases in council tax bills, households across the country will see cuts to services like parks, children’s centres, libraries, and pothole repairs in 2018.

Members of the Latest Deals community have already noticed their council funded services being cut back or stopped.

One member, Jane, said, “I’m about to have an essential bus service removed as their is not enough money in the pot. It’s going to leave a lot of people with no way of getting into town. It’ll also mean that students can’t get to the local college. I’m not saying an increase in council tax will help everyone, but it puts more money into local services like this one.”

Emma agreed, saying, “Loads of my local libraries have been closed or handed over to community groups. In one case, an education charity had to take a library over.”

The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced in December an increase in the maximum that council tax can rise by without triggering a local referendum, going up to 2.99%, in an attempt to try and stop more services being cut.

As well as this, councils are allowed to add 3% on to council tax to help fund adult care, which means, if they wish, councils can raise it by 5.99% in total.

Despite these increases, the LGA said that the predicted extra money will be “wiped out”, as there will be another £600 million more needed to cover increases in the national living wage that councils will have to pay.

It is due to this gap in funding that means that current services may still be cut back.

Lord Porter, the Chair of the LGA, said, “Since 2010, council tax bills have risen by less than inflation and other key household bills.

“Faced with severe funding pressures, many councils feel they are being left with little choice but to ask residents to may more to try and protect local services.

“The extra income with help to offset some of the financial pressures, but many councils are beyond the point where council tax income can be expected to plug the growing funding gaps.

“Councils will have to continue to cut back services, or stop some altogether to plug funding gaps.”

From talking to the Latest Deals community, we found that many were happy to pay a bit extra in council tax if it meant that services would stay open.

Francesca said, “A library is so much more than books and internet access. There’s grup and education there, all for free! You can even just pop in for a coffee and a chat. It really helps lonely people who don’t have anyone. Coming in the library every day just for a chat and human interaction can make a difference for someone. It would be a shame to take that away.”

What do you think? Would you pay more in council tax if services stayed open? Let us know in the comments.

Bestdealsguruover a year ago

Council tax started off way too high in the first place so any rise is ridiculously high, it is now running at about 12% of the minimum wage, everywhere except Westminister which is the cheapest in the country, their top rate is less than a lot of places starting rate which is a disgrace. This government likes to look after the rich at the expense of the working poor, so no I wouldn’t give them 1p more, we need a discount not an increase as the only services I get are refuse collection and emergency services as there no libraries, street lights, parks or anything near me.

garygemmellover a year ago

They dont tell you the truth - why the NHS is failing, council tax going up, crime especially paedophilia and rape torture gangs in every town in the UK (They dumb it down to "grooming" to not sound so bad) and I can tell you as an ex ploice officer it has been going on for 40+ years etc its because we have too many people especially unskilled economic migrants from the 3rd world who will never have a job and claim every benefit under the sun as well as housing , medical etc People who speak out about this are immediately called far right or the race card antifa loons start waving their flags - time to stop all foreign aid and spend it on the NHS and helping our own homeless - Charity as we have now seen begins at home - The head of the SSPCA gets paid £210,000 a year twice as much as the prime minister - you have no idea where your charity money is going either - it seems our country is falling apart at the seams and the most sensible options are not being explored for fear of offending liberal sensibilities!

Once it does all go to hell it will be funny watching the libtards who have caused this mess squirm!

BobDoigover a year ago

The toffs will look after the toffs and to hell with the rest of us.

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