Magazine article Public Finance

Tough Town Hall Settlement Means Likely Council Tax Rise of 4%

Magazine article Public Finance

Tough Town Hall Settlement Means Likely Council Tax Rise of 4%

Article excerpt

Council tax If set to rise by an average of 4%, a snapshot survey of more than 100 draft budgets by the Local Government Association has revealed.

The LGA said the 4% rise -roughly In line with the latest retail price index figures - would take average council tax bills to £1,145 for 2008/09.

In December, local government minister John Healey warned local authorities to keep tax rises below 5%, but the LGA said councils were having to make 'massive efforts' to comply, with particular difficulties In authorities that provide social care.

It warned that funding problems were likely to worsen, with lower increases in government grants expected from 2009 to 2011.

LGA chair Sir Simon Milton said: 'Keeping council tax down has been made harder by several government departments shifting extra costs on to councils whilst limiting funding from central government to a real-terms 1% increase.

'Council tax would have been a lot lower with a more realistic central government grant. The toughest financial settlement in a decade has left councils with difficult decisions to make. …

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