Dominic Browne 21 March 2012

Nine in ten councils accept tax freeze grant

Local authorities in England published their official council tax levels for 2012/13 today – with the vast majority of councils having accepted the government's grant offer to freeze local taxes.

The average Band D rate for England and Wales next year will be £1,444 - a decrease of 0.3% from 2011-12 - while the average council tax rate per dwelling will be £1,201, compared with £1,196 in 2011/12: an increase of 0.4%.

Communities secretary, Eric Pickles, said: 'After years of hurt when council tax bills doubled - to around £120 a month – our action is putting residents first for a second consecutive year. The overwhelming majority of councils, 358, have taken up our funding deal to freeze council tax.

'The average Band D change across England is a mere 0.3%. This is a real terms cut in council tax and real help to hard-working families and pensioners with their cost of living expenses.'

The average Band D council tax will be £1,304 in London, £1,401 in metropolitan areas and £1,492 in the shires. In 2012/13, 85% of all authorities will benefit from the council tax freeze grant.

Parish precepts in 2012/13 will total £384 million - representing an increase of 4.6% over the 2011/12 figure of £367 million. The average Band D parish precept in 2012/13 will be £47.80, an increase of 4.2%

This is the second year the Government has made funding available to authorites for a council tax freeze and, as predicted in a recent survey by The MJ and the Local Government Information Unit, take up was around 90%.

Last year's freeze saved households up to £72 on the average Band D bill, and this year's freeze is potentially worth the same to residents, according to the Department for Communites and Local Government.

Ministers also praised twenty six authorities for cutting their council tax in cash-terms.

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