Council tax hikes to over £1,800 in some regions as second largest increase in a decade set to bite

5 March 2019

Band D households can expect to see council tax bills rise by a typical 4.5% in April, making it the second biggest increase in 10 years. 

The average £75.60 hike will see households in some parts of the country reach as much as £1,800, and was only beaten by last year’s increase of 5.1% or £80.92, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

However, CIPFA says the average figures hide significant regional variations.

Residents of Greater London will suffer the biggest increases – averaging at 5.1%, yet their bills, which come in at a typical £1,476 will remain lower than households in the North East which are paying in the region of £1,884 this year.

CIPFA says much of the increases can be attributed to local police and crime commissioners doubling the police precept on the council tax bill, which has risen by more than 12.6%.

The police precept is a portion of the local police force’s funding that comes from council tax.

Rob Whiteman, chief executive at CIPFA says: “The extent of the rises across the country is a reflection of the incredible fiscal pressure faced by local authorities and police.

"Without a bolder vision from government, the future of these services is increasingly being put at risk.

"Local authorities have faced the most significant cuts to spending over the last 10 years, and despite the government’s announcement that austerity is ending, for local authorities this is clearly not the case. Long term they remain in an unsustainable position.

“Ministers need to make radical decisions to secure the future of public services. Council tax is regressive, and increasingly divorced from the reality of property values. They will not be sufficient to meet rising demand for services such as adult, and increasingly, children’s social care.”

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson says: “We are investing in Britain’s future by providing local authorities with access to £45.1 billion this year – increasing to £46.4 billion next year – to meet the needs of their residents. 

"Councils, not central government, are responsible for managing their own resources. Tax-payers can veto excessive increases via a local referendum.”

The threshold for what is considered excessive varies according to different types of local authority and their spending commitments. For example where councils have responsibility for social care a referendum must be held if they want to increase council tax by more than 5%.

Exemptions may also be granted. For example the threshold for Northamptonshire County Council has been increased from 5% to 7% to reflect severe financial problems it suffered in 2018.


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

My Council, Cheshire East, have got to recoup the money they are wasting on HS2 somehow!!!???

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Worthless Regional Comparison by CIPFA. If you transported your London band D house (£1,476 council tax) and plonked it down in the North East (£1,884 for band D) the house would now be in band B (£1,465 council tax) or maybe even band A (£1,256). A more meaningful comparison would be council tax per head or per household. In the South East the "median home" might be in band D, but in the North, smaller mansions are in band D. In Sheffield, for example, over 60% of homes are in band A.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

My annual council tax bill in Kent for an average semi-detached house is currently £2,520. In April, this will be increased by 4.99% (does this really sound better than 5%?). Apparently I have cause to celebrate as the proposal to charge £52 per year for garden waste collection (previously included in the council tax) has been deferred from April to October. I wonder whether dear old Mrs S down the road will try to sneak her flower clippings in the general waste having been informed the Council is mounting video cameras in the bin lorries to catch acts of criminality.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

'Police' I recall seeing one around here a while back. 2016 I think it was...

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I'm expecting my Mid Sussex Council Tax bill to be well over £2,000. It can't be as a result of the Police precept as we don't seem to have any Police.....

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Here in Pembrokeshire the council tax rose 12% in 2018 and it is rising another 10% this year. I get no street lighting, no road drains, the verge is cut only once a year so visibility is abysmal. Rubbish is to be collected every 3 weeks from March. But the council are more than happy to spend our money on pointless and dangerous new road layouts. Worthy of mention is the particularly stupid junction by the new Lidl store in Haverfordwest. It replaces an island that worked well so the council decided introduce one that creates queues of traffic and many near-misses. The fact that the previous council leader drove a Porsche Panamera and was in his job for over 20 years might suggest why Pembrokeshire council is somewhat corrupt.

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