Council tax

Labour to force vote over council tax rise

22/01/2021

Labour will force a vote in the House of Commons to stop government plans to force councils to raise council tax by 5%.

Government should use tax system to ‘level up’, think tank says

18/01/2021

Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda must use the tax system to spread opportunity and growth to less prosperous places, think tank says.

Scottish councils call for fair funding to avoid 'damaging consequences'

12/01/2021

Council leaders in Scotland have called for an end of small ring-fenced pots of funding and no cap on council tax in this year’s Budget.

Starmer demands halt to ‘absurd’ council tax rises

11/01/2021

Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for central government to increase funding for local authorities to prevent council tax hikes.

Sadiq Khan proposes 9.5% council tax increase

08/01/2021

The mayor of London has announced council tax will increase by 9.5% to help fund free travel for young people and the over 60s.

Charity warns of council tax debt ‘explosion’

04/01/2021

Thousands of people in Scotland have racked up £6.8m in council tax arrears, a charity has warned.

Councils told to prepare for 'breathing space moratorium' on council tax debt

16/12/2020

Councils have been reminded that households struggling to pay their council tax bills will be able to pause payments from next May.

Funding boost for council tax support scheme in Wales

27/11/2020

Councils in Wales will receive an extra £2.6m to meet the increasing demand for Council Tax Reduction Schemes.

Spending Review: 'Risk all sits on local government'

26/11/2020

The Spending Review failed to tackle key issues such as reforms to local government funding, sector experts have warned.

Think tank calls for new health and social care tax

11/11/2020

A new health and social care tax raising £17bn should be the centrepiece of sweeping tax increases to raise £40bn a year, according to a new report from think-tank the Resolution Foundation.

Record number of people claiming council tax discount

30/10/2020

Councils are facing costs of £586m due to the record number of people claiming council tax support this year, new analysis has shown.

Calls to pause enforcement of council tax arrears in Tier 3 areas

21/10/2020

Local authorities in Tier 3 areas should not be required to enforce the collection of council tax debts, argues Citizens Advice.

Councils face £3bn COVID-19 funding gap

22/09/2020

Financial pressures within local government will outstrip additional funding by around £3.1bn this year, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found.

Funding boost for council tax reduction scheme in Wales

01/09/2020

Welsh councils will receive an extra £2.8m to help cover the increased demand for the council tax reduction scheme.

Pre-crisis council tax arrears reached £3.6bn

19/08/2020

Local authorities were owed £3.6bn in unpaid council tax before the start of the pandemic, figures have shown.

Bailiff costs could add £158m to council tax debt, charity warns

14/07/2020

People in council tax debt could face an extra £158m in bailiff and court costs, research has warned today.

Think tank calls for sweeping reforms to local taxes

06/07/2020

A group of former Treasury special advisers have called for revaluation of the council tax and reform of  business rates to boost the economy post-COVID-19.

A fifth of people would pay more council tax to fix potholes

03/07/2020

A fifth of people would be prepare to pay an extra 10% in council tax to help cover the cost of road improvements, a new poll has shown.

Jenrick announces more cash, income compensation and tax delay

02/07/2020

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has announced more cash and new ways councils will be reimbursed for income lost as a result of coronavirus.

No bail outs for commercial investments

22/05/2020

Plans to bail out councils struggling with their finances could vary between authorities - but they will not cover commercial investments, The MJ understands.

Charities warn millions of people in council tax arrears due to Covid-19

21/05/2020

Over two million people have fallen behind on their council tax payments as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, debt charities have warned.

Government urged to fund council tax payment holidays for vulnerable households

01/05/2020

The Government should provide councils with extra funding to offer payment holidays for people struggling to pay their council bill, according to Citizens Advice.

Debt collection needs reform, says think tank

27/04/2020

Local government should follow the lead of the private sector when it comes to debt collection, the latest report from the Centre for Social Justice think tank has claimed.

Counties warn against a blanket council tax deferral scheme

08/04/2020

County councils have warned that a blanket council tax deferral scheme could create significant financial problems for local government.

Councils given direction on using £500m Hardship Fund

24/03/2020

Councils will be given £500m to help reduce council tax payments for vulnerable people and those most affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Council tax ‘arbitrary and unfair’, think tank says

19/03/2020

Financial experts have criticised the current council tax arrangements and called on the Government to reform them as part of the ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Council tax to rise by 3.7% on average

06/03/2020

The average council tax bill is set to increase by 3.7% in 2020/21, new analysis has revealed.

Council votes for climate change referendum

02/03/2020

Warwick DC has voted to hold a referendum on a 34.2% rise in its share of council tax to fund a climate emergency action programme.

Outdated regulations forcing councils to use 'harsh' debt collection processes

25/02/2020

Forcing people to pay off their entire council tax bill if they miss one payment is pushing people into 'desperate' hardship, a charity has warned today.

Councils face £19bn funding gap by 2025

21/02/2020

Councils will face a funding shortfall of £19.1bn over the next five years despite planning council tax increases, new research has shown.

Government announces financial support for flood-hit areas

19/02/2020

The Government has announced councils in areas affected by recent flooding will receive grants to cover the cost of council tax and business rates reliefs.

Councils warn about 'hidden cuts' in Scottish Budget

06/02/2020

Council leaders have complained about ‘hidden cuts’ in a Scottish Budget that will deliver £11.3bn for council services in 2020/21.

Cuts force most councils to increase council tax and charges

05/02/2020

The majority of councils are planning on raising council tax and charging for services in 2020/21 in order to make ends meet, new research has revealed.

Borough seeking unitary status sparks spending row

03/02/2020

A row over council spending has broken out between a county council and a borough authority that is seeking unitary status.

Pay dispute threatens to ‘disrupt’ council tax collection

24/01/2020

Newham council faces ‘significant disruption’ to council tax collection and rebates when staff stage a week-long strike in a job evaluation row.

Jenrick hails 'biggest multi-billion pound spending increase in a decade'

20/12/2019

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed what he describes as the ‘biggest multi-billion pound spending increase for councils in a decade’.

Councils detecting more cases of fraud

19/11/2019

Councils prevented 22% more cases of council tax fraud this year compared to 2017/18, new figures have revealed.

Caerphilly council agrees 7% council tax hike

14/11/2019

A county council in Wales has agreed a package of savings proposals which include a council tax increase of nearly 7%.

Charity blasts ‘broken’ debt collection system

13/11/2019

Local authorities have been criticised for using bailiffs to collect unpaid council tax from struggling households.

Councils need billions more in funding, research finds

10/11/2019

Councils will need billions of extra pounds worth of funding in the next parliament, if they are to meet the rising cost of adult social care, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has calculated.

Medway trials new way of collecting council tax

01/11/2019

A leading councillor has hailed a trial scheme to deduct council tax directly from earnings as a way to target people who ignore reminder letters and refuse to pay.

Millions struggling to pay council tax and household bills, study finds

08/10/2019

Nearly 1.6 million people are falling behind on their council tax payments, new research has revealed.

County council chiefs urge PM to ‘level up’ funding across country

19/08/2019

More than 30 leaders of England’s county councils have called on the new Government to ‘level up’ investment in all parts of the country.

Forced into aggressive debt collection?

08/07/2019

With more households falling behind in council tax payments, are councils becoming too aggressive in the way they collect arrears? Neil Merrick investigates.

The rise of the ‘super’ parish council

26/06/2019

With figures showing parish precepts have risen by 4.9% this year, Neil Merrick explores how parish councils are using the extra revenue to deliver increased and better services.

Councils warn of new wave in council tax scams

10/06/2019

Criminals are posing as council staff to con people out of money, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

Labour considers abolishing council tax for renters

04/06/2019

Labour Party is considering proposals to replace council tax with a ‘progressive property tax’, which would be payable by property owners rather than tenants.

Council tax is ‘regressive’, financial experts say

28/05/2019

Council tax hits the poorest residents much harder than it does the wealthiest, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Council tax guide published to protect ‘vulnerable’

28/05/2019

The Government has published a council tax guide to help protect ‘vulnerable households’.

Council tax system needs 'fundamental reform'

16/05/2019

The council tax system is ‘highly regressive and unsustainable,’ and needs ‘fundamental reform,’ progressive think-tank IPPR has argued.

‘Smart bins’ and tax cuts could help increase recycling rates, report says

13/05/2019

Local authorities could use ‘smart bins’ and council tax cuts to help drive up recycling rates in their areas, a new study has recommended.

Amount of unpaid council tax rises to £3bn

26/04/2019

The total amount of unpaid council tax has risen to more than £3bn, according to the latest figures.

Whitehall pledges to end aggressive council tax debt collection

11/04/2019

The way local authorities recover unpaid council tax is to be reviewed by the Government in a bid to protect vulnerable residents from aggressive debt collection.

Wales champions council tax discounts for mentally impaired

10/04/2019

A new initiative will make it easier for people with a severe mental impairment to receive a council tax discount.

Welsh government reforms council tax to make it ‘fairer’

01/04/2019

The Welsh government has introduced legislation which removes the power to imprison people for not paying their council tax.

Councils defend council tax hikes

27/03/2019

Councils have had ‘little choice’ but to raise council tax to protect local services, the Local Government Association has said, after the latest tax rises were revealed.

Welsh households to face biggest council tax rise in 15 years

14/03/2019

Council tax bills are set to increase by an average of 6.5% across Wales - the largest rise in 15 years - according to new figures.

Council tax rises will not fix ‘chronically underfunded’ care system

06/03/2019

Increases in council tax will fail to fix the ‘chronically underfunded’ social care system, local authority leaders have warned.

Council tax bills to increase by an average of 4.5%

05/03/2019

Council tax bills are set to rise by 4.5% in England from April, the second highest increase in the last decade.

Early intervention key to helping those at risk of falling into debt, says report

01/03/2019

Councils in Wales are being urged by a think tank to do more to support those at risk of falling into debt given the large council tax increases on the horizon.

Council's projected overspend more than doubles

25/02/2019

Highland Council has warned of a £5.5m overspend this year, more than double the amount previously predicted.

Northamptonshire approves 4.99% council tax rise

22/02/2019

Northamptonshire County Council has taken advantage of special freedom to increase council tax by 4.99% without needing to hold a referendum.

Nearly all English councils to increase council tax

14/02/2019

Most councils plan on increasing council tax this year while slashing frontline services due to Government cuts, survey reveals.

Northamptonshire given permission for extra council tax increase

29/01/2019

Northamptonshire County Council has been given the freedom to increase council tax by 2% more than other local authorities without holding a referendum, it was announced today.

Cuts to council tax support have created ‘sizeable’ increase in arrears

29/01/2019

Cuts to council tax support (CTS) have led to a surge in unpaid tax, new research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies has revealed.

‘Tweaking’ wealth taxes could raise £7bn a year, think tank says

03/01/2019

Reforming Britain’s wealth taxes could help the Government raise £7bn a year by 2022-23 to help cover the cost of public services, a think tank has argued.

Council revenues unlikely to ‘keep pace’ with demand on services

20/12/2018

Revenues from business rates and council tax will not keep pace with rising costs and demands for services, financial experts have warned.

Finance settlement: Government floats commercialisation crackdown

13/12/2018

Whitehall is considering a crackdown on councils that excessively borrow for commercial reasons as it continues to restrict council tax rises.

Councils welcome £13m financial package in Wales

21/11/2018

Local government leaders in Wales have welcomed the latest figures put forward by the Cardiff administration for next year's budgets – but warned there could still be further cuts to services or rises in council tax.

Council signs £65m deal with Capita

08/11/2018

Westminster City Council has renewed its contract with Capita in a deal worth around £65m over a decade.

Calls to increase council funding in Scotland by 2.5%

05/11/2018

Councils in Scotland are pressing for a 2.5% increase in local government funding, saying they have no options left to save money.

Threat of prison over unpaid council tax ends in Wales

05/11/2018

People will no longer be sent to prison for failing to pay their council tax, the Welsh government has announced.

Experts call for an end to imprisonment for council tax debt

17/10/2018

English councils are being urged to end the use of imprisonment for the non-payment of council tax.

Healey unveils council tax levy on holiday homes

24/09/2018

Labour would double council tax on second homes to help families living in temporary accommodation, shadow housing secretary John Healey is expected to announce later today.

Households owe £18.9bn on everyday bills

21/08/2018

Households owe nearly £19bn on essential bills such as council tax and utilities, Citizens Advice has warned today.

Haringey to reform council tax support

17/08/2018

Haringey LBC could invest £1.6m in 2019/20 to allow some of its poorest residents to not pay council tax.

MPs accuse councils of ‘overzealous’ debt collection

26/07/2018

The overzealous and uncompromising collection of debt by local councils is driving vulnerable people into further financial difficulty, MPs have warned today.

Care leavers exempt from paying council tax in Manchester

26/07/2018

Manchester City Council has announced care leavers will be exempt from paying council tax until they are 25.

Councils given power to increase taxation on empty homes

19/07/2018

Councils will be allowed to triple the council tax on homes left empty for five to 10 years, following an amendment to a government bill.

Councils call for tax increases on empty homes

18/07/2018

Council leaders have called for the power to double the amount of council tax on homes that have been left empty between two and five years.

Rise in children's services spending

28/06/2018

The amount expected to be spent on children’s social care in 2018/19 is up 6.8% or £542m compared to the figure in 2017/18 budgets, latest figures have shown.

MPs say levy for over 40s could fund free social care

26/06/2018

People aged over 40 should pay a dedicated social care premium to fund free care in the future, MPs have said.

Public 'willing' to pay more tax for certain services

25/06/2018

Most people would be prepared to pay more in council tax or one-off voluntary levies to fund particular local services, a new poll has revealed today.

Future of social care precept looks 'very bleak' from 2019 warns Care England

11/06/2018

A third of English councils will be unable to raise enough money through the social care precept to pay for the services they are meant to cover, according to new research.

Parish councils and the devolution of services

06/06/2018

Neil Merrick finds out why some parish councils are doubling or trebling council tax precepts after taking on services from higher tier authorities.

Local elections 2018: Decision time on local services

18/04/2018

What issues will the main political parties be focusing on in the upcoming local elections? Mark Whitehead investigates.

Parish and town councils welcome ‘fair funding’ letter

13/04/2018

The Government has written to billing authorities urging then to reconsider passing local council tax support on to parish and town councils.

Councils plan largest council tax rise in 13 years

28/03/2018

Council Tax levels will increase by an average of 5.1% across England in 2018/19, the largest rise for 13 years, ministers have confirmed.

Councils given power to double council tax on empty homes

28/03/2018

Councils will be allowed to double the rate of council tax on long-term empty properties under new legislation announced today.

IFS implores action over growing social care funding chasm

20/03/2018

The Government will need to scrap its funding reforms, significantly boost top-ups or centralise care if it is to plug the social care funding gap, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned today.

Scrap 'outdated and regressive council tax, says think tank

20/03/2018

Council tax is ‘outdated and regressive’, and the Government should consider scrapping it in favour of a fairer system, according to a think tank.

Council approves 12.5% council tax rise

09/03/2018

Pembrokeshire County Council has agreed to increase council tax by 12.5% for 2018/19.

Scottish households on low income ‘missing out’ on tax exemption

05/03/2018

Fewer than 4% of Scottish households eligible for council tax exemption are claiming the new benefit, research reveals.

Council tax set for biggest rise in 14 years, figures show

01/03/2018

Council tax payers face the sharpest rise in their taxes for 14 years, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy figures (CIPFA). 

Council tax increases not enough to stop cuts to services, warn town hall chiefs

26/02/2018

Services will continue to be cut back despite proposed council tax increases, council chiefs warn.

Developers sitting on more than 420,000 homes with planning permission

16/02/2018

The backlog of homes that have been given planning permission but are still waiting to be built has increased by almost 16% in the last year, new analysis has revealed today.

Charitable giving, the Westminster way

12/02/2018

Will a voluntary tax from the wealthiest residents in Westminster succeed in generating extra funding for services? Mark Whitehead reports.

Westminster council proposes ‘voluntary’ council tax scheme

12/02/2018

Westminster council is proposing to freeze council tax and replace it with a voluntary contribution after a consultation found ‘strong support’ for the idea.

Fraudster jailed over £45k council tax scam

02/02/2018

A man who used forged university documentation to scam eight local authorities out of £45,000 in council tax has been jailed for 18 months.

Welsh council proposes 12.5% council tax hike

01/02/2018

Pembrokeshire County Council has proposed increasing council tax by 12.5% as part of an effort to close a multi-million pound funding gap.

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Pushing for real reform

The pandemic was a game changer for the central/local government relationship, says Joanne Roney, who has started her two-year stint as president of Solace.
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