Figures show 257 councils will accept grant to freeze council tax
Some 257 local authorities have accepted the Government’s offer of a grant to freeze council tax for 2013/14, figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) today have revealed.
Last year 358 councils took up the government’s funding deal to freeze tax in the second consecutive year of such arrangements.
However, a final tally of councils taking their share of the £450m cash made available to pay for the this year’s freeze - equivalent to a 1% increase in local levies and spread over two years - will not be available until the end of the month.
Ministers have also sought to alert council tax payers they now have the right to pay their local charges in 12 equal monthly instalments instead of ten – a move designed to reduce average payments by £24 a year.
Communities secretary, Eric Pickles, said: ‘The combined effect of our action means council tax bills, which doubled under the last Government, have fallen by 9.5% in real terms since we came into Government – that is worth £200 overall to a typical hard-working family.’
In response a Local Government Association spokesman said: 'The grant provided by government to encourage councils to freeze council tax is small and in light of the financial pressures facing local authorities offers limited breathing space.
'Ultimately, whether they decided to freeze or put their rates up, each council has to take a long term view on how best to meet the costs of serving their local residents.'
Recent research involving 130 senior decision-makers indicates four-in-five council chiefs would rather have the freedom to raise local council tax than take extra cash from Government to extend the freeze.
According to the research conducted by The MJ and the Local Government Information Unit, around two thirds (65.6%) of respondents said they would take the cash 'carrot' this year while 34.4% said they planned to increase local levies by a level just below the 2% threshold for triggering local tax referendums.Click here for MJ editor Heather Jameson's analysis of the 2nd annual LGiU/The MJ local government finance survey
'Few Labour supporters pay tax'? I don't know where J Smith gets his information from; the Daily Mail perhaps? Of course, this would be in complete contrast with the corporate world where companies such as Amazon are judicious in paying their taxes - aren't they?Mel Harwood, Lighting Manager, Dudley MBC, Added: Monday, 11 March 2013 09:29 AM
Better if they cut it to the pre labour levels. We can expect high CT raises from Labour Councils because few of their supporters pay tax. - People vote to spend other peoples money ..J Smith, Added: Friday, 8 March 2013 08:22 PM
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