Council tax could soar by £ 130 this year, warns Sir George
16 Nov 2003

Council tax could soar by four times rate of inflation warn councils , Sir George has warned.

"Local government leaders have advised that a shortfall in government funding will force council tax bills across the country to rise by four times the rate of inflation. In Test Valley, this would add an extra £130 on Band D bills, taking the yearly tax bill to £1162 – equivalent to a monthly bill of £97."

“Local government leaders, from all parties, have warned that council tax could rocket for yet another year. The Labour Government have turned council tax into a stealth tax. In Test Valley, local residents are already paying £400 more on Band D bills since 1997. Next year, bills may shoot up to a worrying £130 per year.

“Ministers have changed local funding to take resources away from good councils in the South, forcing them to increase taxes to prevent cuts in frontline public services. Councils have also had to bear the cost of extra burdens and regulations imposed from above.

“Plans for a new local income tax aren’t the answer – soaring council tax bills are because Test Valley is simply not getting a fair deal from Whitehall."

Notes to Editors

On 11 November, the Local Government Association, in a cross-party letter to Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, warned of a £800 million funding gap for local authorities, forcing councils to hike council tax by 11.5 per cent next year. http://www.lga.gov.uk/PressRelease.asp?id=SXAED2-A781C996



They note,
“The Treasury assumes a council tax rise of around 7 per cent to maintain existing spending levels. The Association of Police Authorities point to a police funding shortfall that would equate to 1.5 per cent on next year’s council tax. Last year’s school’s funding shortfall was not a one-off but a reflection of ongoing costs, at around 1-2 per cent of school budgets amounting to £300m (around 1.5 per cent council tax). New responsibilities in adult and children’s social services, licensing and environment are estimated to amount to well over £300m (around 1.5 per cent council tax).”

 
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