Councils plan low tax increases

Council tax bills in England could rise by an average of 1.6% next year – the lowest increase for more than a decade, according to a survey.

The Local Government Chronicle magazine asked councils what they were planning, although budgets have yet to be set.

Many said they would be freezing or reducing their bills in 2010-11.

With an average rise of nearly half this year’s increase – adding about £22 to a typical Band D bill – one expert called it “a race to the bottom”.

In March this year England’s Band D council tax rose by an average of 3%, which was the lowest increase in 15 years.

Local Government Chronicle (LGC) deputy editor David Blackman said: “Westminster’s public spending phoney war seems to have spread to local government judging by this year’s council tax survey.

“Cash-strapped council taxpayers may be grateful that town halls are feeling their pain, but these increases have more to do with politics than economics.”

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