In 2007 the only council to cut the Council Tax was Hammersmith and Fulham. This year the Council Tax cutters are still are rather exclusive club – but it is an important achievement. It has especially challenging for councils that have seen cuts in grant from central Government – as well as being especially important given the squeeze on real incomes after years of recession.
The DCLG are keeping a list of those councils that are freezing or cutting Council Tax. Those identified, thus far, as planning a reduction are the following:
Greater London Authority
Hammersmith & Fulham
Windsor & Maidenhead UA
Not included in the list are Croydon and Kensington and Chelsea. They are reducing Council Tax bills for the coming year with one-off cash rebates. That will still be most welcome to their residents. So at least five of the 32 London boroughs are cutting Council Tax – plus the whole of London will benefit from the cut by Boris Johnson in the Council Tax precept.
There is also Stafford which has announced a two per cent reduction. The reaction of the opposition Labour councillors was to abstain – and express anger at not being consulted.
Shepway Council is planning a cut of 0.5 per cent.
With the exception of Hounslow (which is cutting by 0.5 per cent) all the tax cutting councils are Conservative.