“Most council tax bills to rise by maximum allowed”

Two thirds of Britain’s biggest councils are set to raise council tax in April by about 4 per cent, the maximum allowed, a survey reveals.

The study shows that 63 per cent of the 150 councils who are responsible for providing social care plan a 2 per cent levy to help to pay for residential accommodation and care in people’s own homes. This is on top of the 2 per cent rise to cover other services, the maximum that most other councils can increase their tax without triggering a referendum.

The move will add £60 to the average band D council tax and potentially £300 to each household bill during this parliament. A few councils have decided to try to push tax even higher. Hinckley and Bosworth borough council is proposing a 4.5 per cent rise, the highest percentage so far proposed for 2016-17. East Lindsey district council plans a 4.06 per cent rise.

The survey by the Local Government Chronicle shows that the government has, in effect, abandoned its policy of trying to freeze council tax. After five years of grants to help councils to impose a freeze, Greg Clark, the communities secretary, decided to scrap the offer and said that he would “assume” that local authorities would increase council tax in line with inflation.