90% of local councils have decided to take up the Government's offer of extra funding for freezing or cutting the Council Tax.
Council tax doubled under Labour but near frozen under Coalition: Under Labour, council tax bills in England hit a record £1,439 a year on Band D homes. Bills more than doubled under Labour. Last year, council tax was frozen and this year the change in bills will just be 0.3% – well below the rate of inflation.
Labour would have imposed yet more hikes: In Government, Labour Ministers opposed a council tax freeze. In Opposition, Labour Shadow Ministers continue to oppose the council tax freeze.
The one area where the take up was lowest was the unelected and unaccountable police authorities, who are being abolished. Only 51% took up the freeze.
A total of 26 local authorities are going further and making cash terms cuts to their
levies on council tax (of between -0.1% to -3.8%), of which 19 are Conservative. This includes Boris Johnson’s Greater London Authority. The Mayor’s action, combined with the freeze amongst London boroughs, means that every Londoner will enjoy a cash terms cut in council tax this year.
Families to save up to £72 a year: Compared to a 5% rise (the Labour Government’s typical capping limit in recent years), a freeze will save an average family up to £72 a year on a Band D home, on top of last year’s freeze. The compounded saving of both years’ freeze is worth up to £147.
Averaged across tiers, Conservative-controlled councils charge £66 a year less than Labour-controlled councils on a Band D home .
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:
“Under Labour, council tax doubled and bills would have gone through the roof further had Labour clung to power. Labour oppose the council tax freeze and would have given a green light to yet more council tax hikes. By contrast, this Government has frozen council tax, scrapped Labour’s council tax revaluation and given residents new rights to veto excessive council tax rises in the future.
“Conservative councils deliver lower council tax and are making sensible savings to do their bit to pay off Labour’s budget deficit. By contrast, Ed Miliband’s councils are revelling in politically-motivated and cynical cuts to frontline services, and they continue to charge more on council tax bills because they are badly run.”