Council tax: Is Council Tax going up? Report discovers widening north-south divide

Martin Lewis says ‘some people owed £1,000’ in council tax

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Council tax is an unavoidable monthly bill for millions of people in the UK. Aside from a few exemptions, everyone has to contribute to the finances of their local area. Many of the requested totals are subject to change as local authority spending fluctuates.

Is council tax going up?

Council tax is subject to change over time, and recent research suggests it is currently spiking.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIFPA) discovered a surge in council tax costs for people in several areas.

The institute found typical council tax bills for the average band D property in the north and south-west will pass £2,000 by next year.

The 2021-2022 financial year could see living in the north-east cost £2,029.90.

In the south-west, residents will have to pay £2,008.70 for the average band D home.

The costs mark an increase of £71.66 in the north from £1,958.24 in 2020-2021.

In the south-west, residents have paid an additional £88.23 since last year.

The research found disproportional regional increases in council tax.

Areas in inner London have, on average, had to pay an additional 5.5 percent more in council tax.

People have paid on average two percent less in eastern England, where bills increased by 3.5 percent.

CIPFA officials have blamed “regressive” conditions attached to council spending.

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Rob Whiteman, chief executive of CIPFA, said the pandemic exacerbated local spending.

He said: “The Covid crisis has increased demand on services, and those demands need to be met with funding.

“Making an increase in local authority spending power contingent on council tax is regressive, putting even more pressure on those taxpayers least able to withstand it.”

Other organisations have asked councils to reduce their spending so taxpayers shoulder less of the burden.

Harry Fone of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said authorities must endeavour to “eradicate wasteful spending.

He said: “Council tax bills are going sky-high and feel like a kick in the teeth to taxpayers.

“The last thing residents need are almost-automatic rate rises, meaning an even bigger council tax bill.

“Local authorities must do more right now to eradicate wasteful spending and stop these huge hikes.”

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