Council Tax Rises Expected Across England from April
February 24, 2020
Households across England can expect to see their council tax bills rise notably for the year from April, according to the County Councils Network (CCN).
Pressure on the finances of council authorities will see them passing on costs to their local residents in most parts of the country, the CCN has said.
In fact, most councils in England are expected to raise their council tax demands by 3.99 per cent, which is the maximum increase they’re allowed to introduce.
That rate of 3.99 per cent represents a rise that’s nearly double the level of inflation recorded for the UK as a whole over the course of 2019.
It’s inevitable that increases in council tax demands will result in a further squeeze on the finances of millions of people who are already finding it tough to make ends meet and keep pace with their most essential bills.
Council tax arrears is among the most commonly cited issues among people who reach out for third party advice in dealing with their debts and bailiffs are now routinely called in by local authorities to pursue council tax debts.
Central government in Westminster recently announced plans to provide councils with the largest increase in funding they’ve had in over a decade but local councils are in many cases still finding it impossible to balance their books without resorting to increasing taxes on their residents.
“No council leader wants to raise their council tax, especially after residents have faced rises over the last few years, but today’s figures show that we simply do not have a choice,” said the CCN’s chairman David Williams in a statement.
“Unfortunately – this pattern is set to continue, but even yearly council tax rises for residents over the next five years still leaves councils with a huge £19bn shortfall, meaning local politicians will need to continue to make really tough decisions to meet rising demand for services.”
The use of bailiffs to pursue council tax debts has increased significantly in recent years, with debt advice campaigners urging steps to be taken to better protect vulnerable debtors from the aggressive and rule-breaking tactics of collection agents across England and Wales.