Council tax sees fastest rise in 14 years
The average Band D council tax set by local authorities in England for 2018-19 will be £1,671 which is an increase of £81 or 5.1% on the 2017-18 figure of £1,591, according to a report by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. However, there is considerable variation between different parts of the country.
Since 2010, council tax bills have risen by less than inflation and other key household bills. However, this year, 148 out of 152 authorities with responsibility for social care will use some or all of the 3% ‘adult social care precept’ flexibility when setting their council tax. This gives councils the right to raise council tax by 6% over two years to help pay for elderly care.
The average area Band D council tax will be £1,405 in London (an increase of £55 over 2017-18). London boroughs will have a lower increase compared to most other authorities – 4 out of 33 London boroughs have frozen their average Band D rate. The Report said: “London is shown to be an area of relatively low council tax compared to the rest of the country, with 9 of the 10 lowest local area council tax in the country.”
Other urban areas will bear the brunt of the rises: The average rise is £1,658 in metropolitan areas (+£83) and £1,728 (+£88) in unitary areas (areas with large county towns). Shires will see an average rise of 2.8% at £1,749 (+£86).