Latest Public Sector News

13.03.15

Welsh council tax increases raise extra £100m for public services

Council tax increases in Wales are expected to raise an extra £100m for local government, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). 

The results of its annual Welsh council tax survey have revealed that local authorities across the country will raise their council tax for an average Band D property by 4% to £1,327.85 in 2015-16, up from £1,275.85 the year before. 

This increase is in contrast to the 1% or £16 increase across England due to the Welsh government not having to implement the coalition’s referendum cap on local authorities’ setting of council tax rates. 

The higher rate that council tax has increased by, however, has provided local authorities in Wales with an additional £100m in funding to support local services. 

Chris Tidswell, head of CIPFA in Wales, said: “Councils across Wales have not been subject to central government’s referendum cap on local authorities’ setting of council tax rates or able to apply for Whitehall’s council tax freeze grant, which means they have been free to set council tax rates to reflect local need. 

“Many households in Wales are struggling to manage their budgets so an increase above the rate of RPI inflation will not be welcome. But it is also important to look at the other side of this increase which is an additional £100m a year in resources to be used locally.” 

He added that the tough reality is that many local authorities are facing further cuts at the same time as they are seeing a rise in demand for services and as a result are grappling with an uncertain future when it comes to sustaining vital local services. 

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