Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
The council tax bill for an average band D or equivalent property in England and Wales is due to rise by £65, or 3.5% from April, according to a new report by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. The tax increase tightens the thumbscrews on those households who are already struggling with skyrocketing inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.
While council tax is set to increase almost everywhere in England and Wales, the level of increase varies between regions.
Greater London will face the highest rise of 3.7% – although the bill will still be one of the lowest in the country at £1,682.56. The bill for an average band D property in the Northeast is set to become the highest in the country at £2,105.95, a rise of 3.5%.
Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO, says, “While households will have to find more money to pay relatively modest council tax increases compared to other bills, everyone recognises they will be facing a harsh squeeze on living standards. Soaring inflation means this squeeze will be the largest in a generation, with energy bills set to rise by 50%.
“Councils are facing significant pressures from inflation and the decision to increase bills will not have been taken lightly. Funding essential services is vital, but in the longer run we hope central government provides long-term sustainable funding and the devolution of fiscal powers to local authorities.”
Joanne Pitt, CIPFA Local Government Policy Manager, says, “The latest figures show increasing discrepancies across the country, with band D council tax in the Northeast significantly higher than Greater London. If the government is serious about levelling up and addressing regional inequality, tackling this difference should be a part of those plans.”
MoneyMagpie’s Jasmine Birtles adds, “So yet another essential monthly bill is going up. It’s not as if it’s the price of champagne and oysters that is rising, it’s the basics of life that we’re all paying more for. This latest rise will be a heavy blow to many families.
“The fact that Council tax is going up is quite worrying because it is a ‘priority bill’ – it’s one of those that you really have to pay or you could suffer bailiffs coming round, you could get a CCJ (County Court Judgement) against you or be made bankrupt for not paying it. However, if you are on benefits it is possible that you could have your council tax paid for you. If you live on your own, live with a student or disabled person, are above pensionable age or on a low income you could be entitled to a reduction in your council tax. Try one of the benefits calculators like this one at StepChange to see what you could be entitled to.”
If this is all getting a bit much for you. Have a look at all the things you can get financial help with here.