Laura Sharman 27 March 2015

Figures show majority of councils freezing council tax bills

Nearly two-thirds of councils in England have accepted the Government grant to freeze council tax this year, according to new figures.

Communities secretary, Eric Pickles, said the statistics show that 228 councils have opted to freeze or reduce council tax for 2015-16, cutting the average bill by 11% in real-terms since 2010.

Mr Pickles said: ?'In the last decade the cost of council tax went through the roof but this Government has been working to keep bills down to give hardworking people and pensioners greater financial security.

'?We have given extra government funding to those town halls that did the right thing and froze council tax for households, which has cut bills by 11% in real-terms, meaning people have more money in their pocket and are no longer facing the threat of soaring bills.?'

However, council chiefs warned the money to freeze or cut council tax bills would fail to address the financial pressures facing local authorities.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said: ?'Local authorities have worked hard to keep bills down. But, with every further cut in funding, it is becoming increasingly difficult to protect vital services like caring for older people and vulnerable children.

?Government?s freeze grant does not address the huge long-term pressures facing local public services.'

Earlier this week, the LGA warned social care would swallow revenue raised from council tax by 2020.

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