Council tax could rocket in 2020, adding an extra £70 to bills

23 December 2019

Average bills for a Band D home could go up by £70 a year to £1,820 after the government gave fresh powers to raise rates to councils

Image

Households could see their council tax bill go up by £70 after government ministers gave local authorities the power to raise it by 4% next year.

Minsters have given local authorities the power to raise council tax by up to 2%. On top of this they will also be able to increase council tax by a further 2% for adult social care.

This means average bills for a Band D home could go up by £70 a year taking it from £1,750 to £1,820.

Those in Band H homes could face even higher costs of up to £140.

The rise is more than double the rate inflation which currently stands at 1.5% and will put more pressure on families already hit by the rising cost of living.

The government claims the proposals will allow local authorities to access an additional £1.5 billion for social care.

The announcement was revealed in the government’s annual local government funding settlement by housing secretary Robert Jenrick on Friday.

This statement gives local authorities details of how much funding central government will provide in the next financial year.

In the statement, Mr Jenrick says that local authorities will be able to increase council tax by up to 2% without holding a referendum and that councils with adult social care responsibilities will be able to raise their council tax by a further 2%.

He says: “We recognise the importance of addressing the challenges in our social care system. This is why we want to build the same level of cross-party consensus on social care as we have with the NHS, to make far-reaching changes to the way these services are financed and delivered.

“In the meantime, we will do all we can to support local authorities.”

Britain is currently in the midst of a social care crisis, with cash-strapped councils struggling to meet demand.

Financial pressures for councils are so great, many believe the current system of social care is unsustainable.

During the election, the Conservative Party said it would provide £1 billion of extra funding a year for social care, as well as a commitment to seek cross-party consensus for long-term reform. It also promised to introduce a system which means no one will have to sell their home to fund long-term care, but details of this were vague.

James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association, says: “The ability of councils to increase council tax and levy an adult social care precept next year gives them the potential to raise £1.6 billion but this is not a sustainable solution.

“Increasing council tax raises different amounts of money in different parts of the country, unrelated to need, and adds an extra financial burden on households. The Government needs to follow through on its pledge bring forward proposals for long term reform of adult social care and how it is funded.”

Add new comment