NEARLY all local authorities in England are planning to raise council tax in April – with over one in ten planning hikes of 5%.
A new survey claimed Brits face eye-watering increases just as inflation begins to ease.
Nearly all local authorities are to raise council tax bills in April, with one in ten planning a 5% rise[/caption]
The Local Government Information Unit said that 97 per cent of town halls will push through a hike.
Three quarters will up bills by 2.5 per cent.
And 13 per cent plan increases of more than 5 per cent.
Despite the staggering rises, councils across the country expect to slash front-line services by cutting spending on social care and support for the homeless.
A third expect to “reduce activity” at libraries and cut some waste collection and recycling.
A staggering 38 per cent will spend less on roads despite raking in a fortune from parking tickets and fines.
LGIU chief executive Jonathan Carr-West said councils had no option but to adopt “drastic measures” if they were to make ends meet.
He said: “We know that council funding is broken. Councils are making do by increasing council tax as much as they can, increasing charging and dipping in to their reserves,” he said.
“Even with these desperate measures they are having to reduce spending; not just on vital place-shaping services like leisure, libraries and parks but in core life-saving areas like social care and children’s services.”
The Local Government Association (LGA) said the forthcoming Government spending review would be “make or break” for many vital local services.
Richard Watts, the chairman of the LGA’s resources board, said: “Many councils feel they have little choice but to ask residents to pay more council tax again this year to help them try and protect their local services.
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“With councils facing a funding gap of more than £3 billion this year, council tax rises will not prevent the need for continued cutbacks to local services.
“If we truly value our local services then we have to be prepared to pay for them.
“Fully funding councils is the only way they will be able to keep providing the services which matter to people’s lives.”
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