Council tax freeze sees families £72 up
Families will be £72 better off this year following an agreement to freeze council tax for the next year.
A report by The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) says the vast majority of local councils have agreed to either freeze or cut council tax.
This means the average household will see a small cut of 35p a year but, by not rising with inflation as it normally would, the average family in a Band D home actually stands to save more than £70.
The move comes after chancellor George Osborne established a £650 million grant pot available for use by councils who agreed to freeze or cut the tax this year, despite receiving less funding.
But several councils have claimed they will have to make cuts to services in order to cover the cost of the freeze. The CIPFA survey says councils have seen their budgets reduced by an average of 5.5% over the last year.
The survey claimed councils will have to target back office as well as front line services such as libraries and leisure centres to make the required cuts.
An increase in the general level of prices that persists over a period of time. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. If inflation is up 4%, this means the price of products and services is 4% higher than a year earlier, requiring we spend and extra 4% to buy the same things we bought 12 months ago and that any savings and investments must generate 4% (after any taxes) to keep pace with inflation. Since 2003, the Bank of England has used the consumer prices index (CPI) as its official measure of inflation (see also retail prices index).