Council tax could rise 5% next year – households warned of up to £70 extra on bills

Council tax could rise next year, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak revealed in Wednesday's Spending Review.

Council tax could rise next year, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak revealed in Wednesday's Spending Review. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Council tax could rise by as much as 5%, or an average of £70 per household, next year as support is reduced for local authorities.

Local authorities in Suffolk are currently analysing details of the new rules and still planning their budgets and spending for next year.

The changes to government support and how councils can raise cash were announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review on Wednesday, November 25, alongside cuts to overseas aid, benefits and pay freezes for the public sector.

Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Policy (IFS), said: “This was actually a tax-raising Spending Review.

“The Chancellor has chosen to reduce support to local authorities and has given them the ability to raise council tax by 5% instead.

“If they do, and they’ll mostly probably need to, that will increase annual tax bills by an average of around £70 per household.”

Suffolk County Council was contacted for comment but said it is too early to comment at this stage.

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Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said at a time when finances were being squeezed councils shoud look carefully at senior salaries and projects they wanted to carry out.

He said: “Constant council tax rises are hitting Suffolk residents hard, yet many people wonder exactly what they are getting for their money.

“Local authorities should be seeking out savings before hammering households with eye-watering rate rises.”

Council tax bills include demands from the county council as well as district authorities and towns and parishes, along with the police precept.

One of the biggest parts of the county budget is social care and in recent years the county council has earmarked a certain percentage rise specifically for care services.

This year its share of the council tax rose by 4% – adding around £40 per household for a Band D property – with half the money going to the council’s general increase in spending and the rest (£2%) dedicated to the growing cost of social care.

During the pandemic councils have seen huge pressures on their budgets – with income severely hit because of lockdown restrictions on activities.

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