Latest Public Sector News

11.03.16

Council tax faces highest rise in eight years, but stays frozen in London

The biggest rises in council tax in eight years will be seen everywhere except London, new figures show.

In a survey of councils, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) found that council tax in England outside Greater London will rise by an average 3.6%, or £54 for the average band D property, whereas the average London rise will be 0.6%, or £8:04.

In total, it is the largest council tax increase since 2008, reflecting the growing financial pressures on councils, many of whom warned recently that they will have to dip into reserves, increase charges or cut services.

Rob Whiteman, CIPFA chief executive, said: “Councils have made by far the biggest efficiencies in the public sector and with the government incentives over the last Parliament council tax has remained relatively static. But things have changed. Councils are effectively being encouraged by government to raise council tax, which marks a contrast to its stance in previous years.

“Over the next four years, government will be making fundamental changes to how councils are funded, essentially withdrawing Whitehall grants by allowing councils to keep more local business rates. This is a very positive move for local democracy, but there must be clarity on the detail of the new system to show how relatively less well-resourced authorities will fare.”

Council financial leaders warned Parliament’s Communities and Local Government Committee this week that they anticipated as many problems as benefits from the 100% business rates devolution.

The number of councils accepting funding from the government to freeze tax was 228 last year, a drop from 235 the year before.

Overall, Inner London has the lowest increase of 0.5% or £4:96 for band D properties, whereas the north east has the highest at 3.8% or £59:62.

The maximum amount allowed to councils is a 1.99% general increase and a 2% increase for adult social care.

New research this week warned that the government’s benefits reforms will also cause much greater financial loss to poorer areas in the north than richer areas in the south.

The Local Government Association is also calling on the government to help relieve financial pressures on councils by bringing forward £700m social care funding to the next budget, due on Wednesday.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Support for councils following Grenfell

04/09/2017Support for councils following Grenfell

Ian Moore, CEO of the Fire Industry Association (FIA), discusses the wider ... more >
A quiet revolution

04/09/2017A quiet revolution

Dermot Ryan, programme director at NHS Digital for the Health and Social Ca... more >

interviews

‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Bus... more >

the raven's daily blog

How do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

18/09/2017How do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

Five years on from the introduction of the Social Value Act, Alison Ramsey, frameworks co-ordinator at Scape Procure, reflects on the key questions that prompted the legislati... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

14/08/2017Time for reflection

A lot has happened since the last edition of PSE was published. In particular, the snap general election delivered an astounding result that many of the pollsters and political experts could not have predicted when Theresa May initially called for it back in April. Chris Painter, Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, provides a fascinating analysis of the campaign, and assesses the aftermath of the election on pages 26-28. It is a must-read article.  During the... read more >