Council tax set to rise in 95 per cent of councils

The 2018 State of Local Government Finance research has revealed that council tax is set to rise in 95 per cent of councils as a direct result of concerns for their financial stability.

In addition to council tax increases, which can rise by three per cent this year, in line with inflation, before a referendum is triggered, 93 per cent of councils are set to increase charges amid fear for their balance sheets. This will cover areas such as waste disposal, parking and planning. This is because 80 per cent of councils fear for their financial sustainability amid growing concern that the recent experience of Northamptonshire County Council is ‘the tip of the iceberg for local government’.

At the start of February, Northamptonshire County Council imposed emergency controls, known as a section 114 notice, on its spending in order to address ‘severe financial challenges’.

According to the survey, the biggest pressure on authorities' budgets is children's services (nearly 32 per cent of councils), then adult social care (close to 28 per cent) and housing and homelessness (19 per cent).

The Local Government Information Unit and The MJ have run the State of Local Government Finance Survey every January since 2012 to coincide with councils setting their annual budgets.