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Council tax rises over 50% in real terms

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Seven years after the introduction of the council tax freeze scheme in 2010, inflation-busting increases are back, finds a new survey by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

It said council tax bills have increased more than 50% in real terms over the past 20 years. In 1997-98, the average band D council tax bill was £688; today, the figure is £1,591, an increase in real terms of 57%. More than nine in ten local authorities raised council tax last year.

Residents in Weymouth & Portland Borough Council pay the highest band D council tax in England at £1,891, while those in Westminster pay just £688. Per dwelling, residents in Chiltern District council pay the most – £1,905, while those in Wandsworth pay the least – £644.50.

Worth a mention are the seven councils that have lower council tax today than in 1997-98. Three are in London – Islington, Wandsworth and Hammersmith & Fulham. In contrast, 185 out of 354 councils haven’t cut their council tax rates at any point in 20 years.

In December of last year, Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, said all councils could raise council tax by up to 2.99% next year to fund local services, an extra 1% more than this year. It also allowed a further 152 councils to increase the tax by an additional 3% “precept” to fund social care services.

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