Average English council tax to rise four per cent

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has warned that the average price of council tax bills in England is set to by four per cent in April, reaching almost £1,600 annually.

CIPFA conducted a survey on bills for Band D properties, which was sent to all 420 English authorities. 307 councils responded.

According to CIPFA, the above-inflation rise will take the average Band D bill across England to £1,590.53, an increase of £60.94. The average increase includes contributions for police, fire, the Greater London Authority, and those without social care responsibilities.

The survey also indicated that 70 per cent of the authorities responsible for social care were taking advantage of the extra three per cent rise available to them.

The survey suggested among the authorities entitled to impose an additional social care precept - English counties, unitaries, metropolitan districts and London boroughs - the average increase on a Band D property would be 4.3 per cent, 4.8 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively.

Sean Nolan, director for local government at CIPFA, said the expected rise in council tax bills comes after six years of very low increases. Nolan also said that this was actively encouraged by the government, which had offered a grant if councils did not raise bills.

He added: “The subsequent removal of this freeze grant shows a clear shift in public policy in general, but also a reflection of the strains being caused by social care pressures."