Laura Sharman 06 March 2020

Council tax to rise by 3.7% on average

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

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, has found council tax bills have risen consistently every year since 2012, with households facing an average increase of £64.65.

There is only a difference of 0.8 percentage points between different regions, with outer London, the North West and the South Westseeing the biggest increase at 3.9%.

Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO, said: ‘Today’s findings illustrate that local authorities across the country are putting up their council tax to fight the ongoing legacy of austerity.

’The simple fact is that council tax, along with business rates and central government grant, is no longer enough to fund increased demand on vital public services, including social care. These funding mechanisms remain in an unsustainable position for the long term.’

The Local Government Association (LGA) warned that a third of extra council tax income will be spent covering the cost of the increase to the National Living Wage.

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: 'Faced with ongoing funding pressures such as homelessness and looking after vulnerable children, councils continue to be left with little choice but to ask residents to pay more to help them try and protect their local services.

'This will help offset some of the financial pressures they face this year, but more than a third of the extra council tax income for adult social care services will be needed to meet the cost of paying for the Government’s unforeseen increase in the National Living Wage this year.'

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