Brace yourself for council tax rises of up to 5% in 2019, adding £80 a year to the average bill

14 December 2018
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Households can expect to see council tax rise by as much as 5% in 2019 following the publication of the government’s annual local government funding settlement.

The move will see average bills for a Band D home go up by £80 a year taking it from £1,671 to £1,751.

Each year the local government funding settlement gives local authorities details of how much funding central government will provide.

This year, local government secretary, James Brokenshire MP confirmed that councils will see a real-term cash increase of 2.8% over the year, increasing budgets from £45.1bn in 2018/19 to £46.4bn in the upcoming tax year.

However local councils will likely also need to impose the maximum possible increases to taxes of up to 4.99%, as funding shortfalls will continue. 

The 4.99% figure includes a 2% hike that many councils will be able to use to fund social care for adults. 

If councils want to raise council tax by more than this a local referendum must be held.

The police precept will also double from £12 to £24. This can be added to tax bills by police and crime commissioners to pay for local policing. 

In a speech announcing the settlement, Mr Brokenshire said: “Authorities will have the flexibility to increase their core council tax requirement by up to 3% and can draw, as needed, on the adult social care precept to meet demand for services.

"But local residents will continue to be protected and be able to approve or veto any excessive rises in a referendum.”

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association expressed disappointment that central government was not able to stump up more funding for struggling councils.

“Next year will continue to be hugely challenging for all councils, who still face an overall funding gap of £3.2 billion in 2019/20. It is therefore disappointing that the government has not used the settlement to provide further desperately-needed resources for councils next year. 

“Many councils will be forced to take tough decisions about which services have to be scaled back or stopped altogether to plug funding gaps. 

"We must not forget that it is individuals and communities who feel the impact, whether it is through seeing their local library or leisure centre close, roads deteriorate or support for young people, families and vulnerable adults scaled back.”

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Re Anticipated council tax rises. Time to revisit a poll tax for the uk as a whole. Spending (and hence taxation) is based on a per-capita basis not a notional valuation or size of a property. Equity demands that individuals all pay their fair share of meeting community expenses. Do others agree?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

it is now time to reverse Austerity.Yes well done to the government for not having to borrowing so much however the penny pinching is seeing roads collapsing ,education budgets barely enough to pay wages let alone infrastructure repairs.Because of this Austerity we now face huge increases in council tax and police precepts.Not everyone can find this additional burden easy to budget for.Come on government start doing your job for the country who put you in charge.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Mr Brokenshire seems to have an odd idea of what is excessive. In my book any increase in excess of the increase of my income is excessive and I have certainly not received anything like enough to fund these without sacrifices elsewhere. No increase above the rate of wage inflation should be permitted.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Councils like mine plead poverty but want to build an unnecessary Civic Centre for £70million plus, and afford to give themselves nice pay rises.

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