Households face 4% rise in council tax

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Council tax bills are set to rise by around 4 per cent, independent researchers warn.

A study by the public accountancy institute Cipfa, based on submissions to the Government from councils, has found that average bills for a band D home would rise in April by around £52 to £1,370 a year.

Such a hike would represent the lowest rise for 14 years, but some areas – such as Leicester, Slough and Derby – could be facing increases of 5 per cent, the maximum outlined by the Government.

The average rise, of 3.9 per cent nationwide, would be almost double the rate of inflation as measured by the consumer price index.

But the Government has said that excessive rises won't be tolerated. "Councils have until early next month to set their budgets," said local government minister John Healey. "But... we have made clear that we will apply our capping powers to... protect council tax payers where necessary."

Sir Simon Milton, chairman of the Local Government Association, said keeping the tax down has been made harder by government departments shifting extra costs on to councils while limiting central funding.

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