Council tax bills in England may rise by up to 5.99%

Tax letter

"This change, combined with the additional flexibility on the adult social care precept that I confirmed past year, gives local authorities the independence they need to help relieve pressure on local services".

"Only with fairer funding, new powers and fiscal freedoms over the next few years and beyond can councils ensure children and adults receive the care they deserve, desperately-needed homes are built and roads are maintained to high standards and other services are protected, such as maintaining our parks and green spaces and running children's centres and libraries".

Some councils that fund social care directly are expected to implement the maximum 5.99% increase, although the BBC's political correspondent Iain Watson said that would not become clear until they set budgets.

The largest local authorities in England are to be allowed to raise council tax by up to 5.99% next year.

"Nobody likes paying tax".

On top of this, 152 councils, which includes all London boroughs, unitary and metropolitan authorities and county councils, will be able to increase it by an additional "precept" 3% to fund social care services.

Mr Javid also announced the rollout of a pilot under which 10 councils - Berkshire, Derbyshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Kent & Medway, Leeds, Lincolnshire, Solent, Suffolk and Surrey - will be allowed to retain 100% of business rates raised locally, along with new powers for Police Commissioners to raise council tax.

"This change, combined with the additional flexibility on the adult social care precept confirmed a year ago, gives local authorities the independence they need to relieve pressure on local services, including adults and children's social care, while also recognising that many households face their own pressures". It hits people who are on low incomes and find it hard to pay their council tax.

Clive Betts said the proposals unveiled by ministers would raise £250 million next year, while the Local Government Association believes councils need an extra £2 billion to meet care costs.

She chose the least radical option, raising by 1 percentage point, to 5.99 per cent, the threshold for council tax increases above which town halls must hold a referendum.

John O'Connell, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliancepressure group said it "beggars belief" that Javid was allowing council tax to rise at a time of below-inflation pay rises.

Labour's Andrew Gwynne slammed the package as "piecemeal" and said the Government did not have a "sustainable plan" for the future of social care.

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