Budget Special: Big rises likely in council tax

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The Independent Online
Council tax is set to rise next April by at least double the rate of inflation, even if, as the Government intends, councils cut their spending.

The Government says it wants councils to increase their education spending by 3.6 per cent, which means cuts would fall on other areas. The Government has deliberately set its estimate of council spending next year at less than the amount councils are set to spend this year. Total council spending is projected at pounds 45.66bn, which the Government says amounts to a 2.5 per cent increase. But council budgets this year are over pounds 47bn.

That could imply an average council tax increase of between 6 per cent and 8 per cent, putting around pounds 40 a year on average (Band D) bills.