Millions of households face 5% council tax hike in April

14 February 2023, 10:02 | Updated: 14 February 2023, 11:21

Three-quarters of English councils with social care duties are set to hike tax by 5%, the County Councils Network (CNN) said.
Three-quarters of English councils with social care duties are set to hike tax by 5%, the County Councils Network (CNN) said. Picture: Alamy

By Hannah Holland

Millions of households in Britain are facing another financial squeeze with local authorities set to raise council tax by the maximum amount possible as they attempt to make up for funding shortages.

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Millions of Brits are braced for their council tax bills to rise by the maximum amount possible.

Three-quarters of English councils with social care duties are set to hike tax by 5%, the County Councils Network (CNN) said.

That would see £100 a year added to the average Band D property’s council tax bill.

The move will see an even bigger squeeze on wallets after a year of inflation and soaring energy bills. But councils will argue they need the change to adequately fund local services.

The Labour vice-chair of CNN and leader of Cheshire East council said local authorities “have little choice but to propose council tax rises” despite recognising the "disproportionate" impact of the cost of living crisis on low-income households.

He continued: “With councils facing multimillion funding deficits next year, the alternative to council tax rises would be drastic cuts to frontline services at a time when people at the sharp end of the cost of living crisis need us to be there for them.”

READ MORE: London bus drivers accept 18% pay rise as Abellio shakes on 'greatly improved' deal

The maximum authorities can bill their residents before a local referendum must be held is 5% after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt raised the cap from 3% last autumn.

The Office for Budget Responsibility says this will raise £3.3 billion in 2026/27, rising to £4.8 billion in 2027/28.

Cllr James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “An increase in local government core spending power will help councils deal with inflationary and other cost pressures they face next year."

“However, it is based on the assumption that councils will raise their council tax by the maximum permitted without a referendum.

“We have been clear that council tax has never been the solution to meeting the long-term pressures facing services - particularly high-demand services like adult social care, child protection and homelessness prevention.

“It also raises different amounts of money in different parts of the country unrelated to need and adds to the financial burden facing households.”

The average council tax for a Band D property in England for 2022/23 was £1,966 whilst a typical Band D property in rural county areas is over £2,000 a year.

Cllr Jamison added: “Councils want to work with government on a long-term funding plan which ensures they have adequate resources, certainty and freedoms to deliver local services for our communities."

The CNN has found that 113 councils are planning to increase council tax, with 84 proposing a 5% rise from April and one council, Central Bedfordshire, planning to freeze rates.

The remaining 38 councils have not yet announced their plans.

Three councils facing major financial concerns after effectively declaring bankruptcy have been allowed to increase council tax bills beyond the maximum limit. Croydon’s bill will increase by 15%, whilst Thurrock and Slough will each raise the tax by 10%.

Thousands of Croydon's residents have already signed a petition calling for Croydon mayor to withdraw plans for the 15% hike.

Croydon’s Conservative executive mayor, Jason Perry, shared that the move will be “difficult” for people in Croydon but that without the increase, the council would need a further £20m of additional cuts which would put “vital services to vulnerable residents at risk”.

Find out how much your council tax bill could rise by:

North East

  • Durham - 4.99%
  • North Tyneside - 4.99%
  • Hartlepool - 4.99%
  • Gateshead - 4.99%
  • South Tyneside - 4.95%

Yorkshire and the Humber

  • Darlington - 5.0%
  • North Yorkshire - 4.99%
  • York - 4.99%
  • Leeds - 4.99%
  • Ryedale - 4.99%
  • Bradford - 4.99%.
  • Calderdale - 4.99%
  • North East Lincolnshire - 4.98%

North West

  • Bolton - 6.5%
  • St Helens - 4.99%
  • Manchester - 4.99%
  • Wirral - 4.99%
  • Wakefield - 4.99%
  • Eden - 4.99%
  • Blackburn and Darwen - 4.99%
  • Cheshire East - 4.99%

South East England

  • Thurrock - 9.99%
  • Slough - 9.99%
  • Berkshire - 6.76%
  • Sussex - 4.99%
  • Kent - 4.99%
  • Brighton and Hove - 4.99%
  • Portsmouth - 4.99%

South West England

  • Wiltshire - 5%
  • Bristol - 5%
  • Torbay - 4.99%
  • Plymouth - 4.99%
  • Bath and North East Somerset - 4.99%
  • Cornwall - 4.99%
  • Worcestershire - 4.94%

East Midlands

  • East Lindsey - 5.42%
  • Skegness - 5.42%
  • Nottingham - 5%
  • Rutland -4.99%
  • Peterborough - 4.99%
  • Nottinghamshire - 4.84%

West Midlands

  • Coventry - 5%
  • Staffordshire - 4.99%
  • Herefordshire - 4.99%
  • Dudley - 4.99%
  • Derby - 4.99%

East England

  • Luton - 4.99%
  • Hertfordshire - 4.99%
  • Cambridge - 4.99%
  • Breckland - 4.7%

South East England

  • Surrey Heath - 5%
  • Windsor and Maidenhead - 4.99%
  • Buckinghamshire - 4.99%
  • Oxford - 4.99%
  • Bracknell Forest - 4.99%
  • West Oxfordshire - 4.57%

READ MORE: 'Like the last days of Rome, not a cost of living crisis': Labour slams government's 'lavish spending culture'

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