41% of local authorities planning council tax rises
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Finance
Council tax 'spying powers' dismissed as 'utter nonsense'
Over a third of England's local authorities are planning to raise council tax rates in April.
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy's (CIPFA) survey discovered that 41 percent of councils plan to increase their rates - despite the £450m pledged by Chancellor George Osborne in October to help freeze council tax over the next two years.
CIPFA's research found that the country's councils are planning an average increase of 1.1 percent.
A rise of two percent or more is needed to trigger a local referendum.
Ian Carruthers, CIPFA’s director of policy, said: "As the pressures from this period of unprecedented austerity intensify, all councils are having to strike an increasingly difficult balance between protecting hard-pressed taxpayers and maintaining local services.
"The imminent changes to local authority funding systems are bringing added uncertainty to councils’ financial management and making it more difficult than ever for councillors to take the medium and longer-term decisions required."
CIPFA said that the overall average Band D council tax bill will rise by 0.8 percent, equivalent to £11.74 a year.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles claimed the survey confirmed a 9.5 percent real-terms fall in council tax since 2010's general election.
He said: "Council tax more than doubled under Labour. But this government has worked to freeze council tax for three years, helping hard-working families and pensioners with their cost of living.
"This survey confirms that council tax will effectively be frozen again this year, with an average change across England of just a mere 0.8 percent. This is a tax cut in real terms."