Magazine article Public Finance

Doubts Rise over How Osborne's Council Tax Freeze Will Be Paid For

Magazine article Public Finance

Doubts Rise over How Osborne's Council Tax Freeze Will Be Paid For

Article excerpt

The chancellor has pledged to freeze council tax next year - but there is uncertainty about how this can be achieved.

In his Budget speech, George Osborne promised help for local authorities that controlled their costs. He said the council tax freeze could be worth up to £70 a year for the average family.

Further details of how the government will fund the freeze are to be announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review, due on October 20.

However, there are already concerns about the level of savings councUs will need to achieve before the government provides them with financial help. There are also question marks over how the policy will be funded. The Conservative Party's election manifesto promised to freeze the tax by cutting back on consultants and advertising.

Now council leaders and finance experts are clamouring for further details of how the freeze will be paid for.

Local Government Association chair Dame Margaret Eaton said: 'Councils work hard to keep council tax down, and are looking to government to confirm that the proposed tax freeze is paid for from savings outside local government, such as central government marketing and consultancy. …

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