Maximum council tax hikes imminent

Almost all English councils intend to raise council tax to the maximum allowed without a referendum, as revealed by the County Councils Network (CCN).

Of the 136 local authorities in England, 128 have proposed increases of at least 4.99% in April.

Some councils facing financial crises, such as Birmingham, Woking, Slough and Thurrock, have received Government approval to raise council tax by up to 10%.

Thurrock has chosen to increase its tax by 7.99%. Birmingham, Woking, and Slough, along with 17 other councils, have not yet disclosed their tax plans for the upcoming year.

According to the CCN, the number of councils aiming for the maximum tax hike has increased from 75% last year to 95%. Despite a recent Government injection of £600 million, councils are facing significant financial pressures, leading to an average increase of £103 for Band D households.

Acknowledging the impact on residents, Councillor Sam Corcoran, vice-chair of the CCN, said that councils did not take the decision to raise council tax lightly, citing rising costs as the primary driver behind the hikes.

A Government spokesperson said:

"Councils are responsible for their own finances and set council tax levels, but we have been clear they should be mindful of cost-of-living pressures. We continue to protect taxpayers from excessive council tax increases through referendum principles."

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