“Local authorities are to be allowed to raise council tax by up to 5.99% next year, after a further relaxation of the government-imposed cap to address shortfalls in funding for social care.
Families across the UK could see their bills rise by up to £100 a year as a result of the announcement, which will also see councils increasing the charge without holding local referendums.
The move, which has been widely criticised and called “woefully inadequate” by leaders in the social care sector, could see the average band D council tax bill rising to £1,653.30. …. “
In a separate announcement, the DGLC announced that a pilot project will see 10 areas retain their full business rate contributions:
“Communities secretary Sajid Javid has today announced a shake-up of the formula for distributing funding to local authorities.
He has also set out plans to allow councils to retain 75% of their business rates and a 1% increase in council tax raising powers, revealing the local government settlement in the House of Commons.
Javid confirmed plans to end the revenue support grant and allow councils to retain 100% of local business rates by 2020 would be put on hold, over concerns that some councils could be left out of pocket.
Instead, he said there needed to be an “updated and more responsive distribution methodology”, and that councils would be allowed to retain 75% of business rates by 2020/21.
He said: “I am today publishing a formal consultation on a review of relative needs and resources. “I aim to implement a new system based on its findings in 2020/21.”
In addition, he announced 10 further councils would be taking part in a pilot to retain 100% of their business rates. …”
When the Conservatives next crow about how they haven’t raised income tax or national insurance rates, just remember that the swingeing Council Tax rises are a really not local government generated tax rises, but are really government tax rises as a consequence of the swingeing cuts in social care and other grants made from central government to local government.
And whilst there will be some in Devon who cannot afford these rises (probably including nurses and care assistants and other vital workers who have had a real-terms pay cuts for the last 14 years), most of us in Devon will be able to afford them (even if we whinge about it as we pay). But think about the area of the country who have a high social care need and low incomes – like areas of NW England – just how are they supposed to raise council tax to fund a large social care need when most people won’t be able to pay? The Conservatives are creating … no, already have created … a postcode lottery on social care and council tax, which is extremely divisive.
(And of course in places like Kensington and Chelsea, the Council Tax for a mansion is already a small fraction of what we pay for a 3-bed-semi. And with a small social care need, K&C will likely be able to continue to give council tax refunds to owners of said mansions rather than charge more.)
Conservatives – “For the Very Few, not the Many Many”