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Caroline Spelman, the shadow communities and local government secretary, has pounced upon Local Government Association figures forecasting that council tax bills will rise on average by £41 a year as of April.

The LGA states that an average Band D home in England will now have council tax of £1,414 a year, whereas local taxpayers in Scotland – where those in an average Band D home will pay £1,149 – will enjoy a council tax freeze this year.

Mrs Spelman reports that with RPI Inflation for 2009-10 to be running at minus 2¼%, the real terms increase in council tax will be over 5% and that over the period Labour have been in government, English council tax bills will have risen by an extra £733 a year. She added:

"Taxpayers are already feeling the pain of council tax having doubled under Labour. Now council tax bills are to rise by a further £41 this April, at a time when people are losing their jobs or being hit with pay freezes. The average bill will now hit almost £120 a month on a Band D home in England. By contrast, residents in Scotland will benefit from another council tax freeze this year. Conservatives would work with councils to freeze council tax, bringing real help to recession-hit England."

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