An independent survey by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) will today confirm that council tax bills are to be frozen across England this year, thanks to the new Government's council tax freeze initiative. In real terms, council tax is falling. CIPFA estimate there will actually be a slight cash fall in the level of council tax, due to some councils reducing their headline rate.
- Council tax doubled under Labour: Under Labour, council tax bills in England hit a record £1,439 a year on an average Band D home last April. Bills more than doubled under Labour (+109%).
- Labour want higher council tax: In Government, Labour Ministers opposed a council tax freeze. In Opposition, Labour Shadow Ministers continue to oppose the council tax freeze.
- Saving up to £288 over 4 years: Despite the need to pay off Labour's deficit, councils are being given an extra £2.5 billion of central funding to support the freeze in 2011-12 over the Spending Review period. This will stop council tax soaring next year after the one-year freeze. Compared to a 5% rise (the last Government's capping limit), a freeze will save an average family £72 a year on a Band D home. Over four years, this lower rate of council tax is worth up to £288.
- No revaluation, no more unwanted hikes: The new Government has also cancelled Labour's plans for a council tax revaluation in England, which would have meant soaring bills for millions of homes. The Localism Bill will also give local residents new rights to veto high council tax rises.
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:
"Council tax doubled under Labour. But the new Government has frozen council tax, saving hard-working families and pensioners up to £72 this year. We have scrapped Labour's council tax revaluation which would have hammered middle England, and we are giving local residents new rights to veto excessive council tax rises in the future. This is real help now to assist with the cost of living. It is disgraceful that Ed Miliband's Shadow Ministers oppose this council tax freeze, and his Labour councils are revelling in politically motivated and cynical cuts to frontline services."