Latest Public Sector News

28.02.13

41% of local authorities to shun council tax freeze

Nearly half of councils are currently planning to forego the money for freezing council tax offered by the DCLG, and will instead raise it for 2013/14.

CIPFA’s annual survey found that 41% of local authorities are considering rejecting the offer, up from 15% last year. Amongst those who will reject the freeze, increases are likely to average 1.1%, and overall the average band D council tax bill looks set to rise by 0.8% – the equivalent of £11.74.

The survey found variation between the regions, with the largest increase expected in Yorkshire and Humber at an average of 1.2%, or the equivalent of £16.30. Greater London by contrast is set to increase tax by an average of 0.1%.

Ian Carruthers, CIPFA’s director of policy, said: “Councillors must take council tax decisions based on local priorities. As the pressures from this period of unprecedented austerity intensify, all councils are having to strike an increasingly difficult balance between protecting hard-pressed taxpayers and maintaining local services.

“The imminent changes to local authority funding systems are bringing added uncertainty to councils’ financial management and making it more difficult than ever for councillors to take the medium and longer term decisions required.”

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