Millions of families are facing crippling council tax increases from next month
Nine in 10 local authorities will ramp up the levy by as much as five per cent to help pay for social care, it was revealed yesterday.
According to new research, 90 per cent of homes will face jumps of up to £100 a year to cover local services and caring for people in the community.
The inflation-busting rises will take the average Band D bill across England to £1,680, an increase of £80.
Furious critics said the rises would “rightly enrage” the public.
Research says 90 per cent of homes will face jumps of up to £100 a year
Local authorities need to ask themselves if they really are spending every penny wisely
They were ushered in to take advantage of new powers to top up charges with money ring-fenced for social care.
But critics questioned whether local authorities were really doing all they could to spend residents’ money wisely.
John O’Connell of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Local councils have faced pressures on their finances because of the lack of a long-term plan for how to reform and provide social care.
The average Band D bill across England will jump to £1,680, an increase of £80
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“But when at the same time, local politicians see it fit to raise their allowances by over 50 per cent in some cases, it rightly enrages taxpayers.”
Only 22 of the 353 local authorities in England are freezing council tax in 2017/18.
And just one, East Hampshire, has said it is cutting the amount.
The new figures show a 180-degree turnaround from 2012/13, when nine out of 10 councils froze or cut council tax and just 35 raised it.
East Hampshire's local authority is the only one to have said it is cutting the amount
“Local authorities need to ask themselves if they really are spending every penny wisely and focusing limited resources on delivering front line services, instead of continuing to splurge on pay rises and non-jobs at town halls,” Mr O’Connell added.
The Local Government Association said the findings suggested councils had found themselves “unable to turn down the chance to raise desperately-needed money for local services” and warned increases were unlikely to prevent further cutbacks.
But the Department for Communities and Local Government said councils had “almost £200billion available to them over four years” and should be working to deliver “sensible savings to protect frontline services and keep bills down”.
The survey, by the Press Association, found that of the 152 local authorities able to raise bills by up to an extra 3 per cent to fund social care, more than two-thirds are implementing the full amount.
It also showed 73 of these councils are also raising basic council tax by the maximum they are allowed – 1.99 per cent – making a total increase of 4.99 per cent.
Breckland Council in Norfolk reported the highest percentage rise of 6.6 per cent, but said it had the lowest level in England.
The 23 authorities where bills are being frozen or cut said they had proven what could be achieved.
Ferris Cowper, leader of Tory-run East Hampshire Council, said it had made savings in part by making large investments in commercial property.