Council tax

County council chiefs urge PM to ‘level up’ funding across country

19/08/2019

More than 30 leaders of England’s county councils have called on the new Government to ‘level up’ investment in all parts of the country.

Forced into aggressive debt collection?

08/07/2019

With more households falling behind in council tax payments, are councils becoming too aggressive in the way they collect arrears? Neil Merrick investigates.

The rise of the ‘super’ parish council

26/06/2019

With figures showing parish precepts have risen by 4.9% this year, Neil Merrick explores how parish councils are using the extra revenue to deliver increased and better services.

Councils warn of new wave in council tax scams

10/06/2019

Criminals are posing as council staff to con people out of money, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

Labour considers abolishing council tax for renters

04/06/2019

Labour Party is considering proposals to replace council tax with a ‘progressive property tax’, which would be payable by property owners rather than tenants.

Council tax is ‘regressive’, financial experts say

28/05/2019

Council tax hits the poorest residents much harder than it does the wealthiest, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Council tax guide published to protect ‘vulnerable’

28/05/2019

The Government has published a council tax guide to help protect ‘vulnerable households’.

Council tax system needs 'fundamental reform'

16/05/2019

The council tax system is ‘highly regressive and unsustainable,’ and needs ‘fundamental reform,’ progressive think-tank IPPR has argued.

‘Smart bins’ and tax cuts could help increase recycling rates, report says

13/05/2019

Local authorities could use ‘smart bins’ and council tax cuts to help drive up recycling rates in their areas, a new study has recommended.

Amount of unpaid council tax rises to £3bn

26/04/2019

The total amount of unpaid council tax has risen to more than £3bn, according to the latest figures.

Whitehall pledges to end aggressive council tax debt collection

11/04/2019

The way local authorities recover unpaid council tax is to be reviewed by the Government in a bid to protect vulnerable residents from aggressive debt collection.

Wales champions council tax discounts for mentally impaired

10/04/2019

A new initiative will make it easier for people with a severe mental impairment to receive a council tax discount.

Welsh government reforms council tax to make it ‘fairer’

01/04/2019

The Welsh government has introduced legislation which removes the power to imprison people for not paying their council tax.

Councils defend council tax hikes

27/03/2019

Councils have had ‘little choice’ but to raise council tax to protect local services, the Local Government Association has said, after the latest tax rises were revealed.

Welsh households to face biggest council tax rise in 15 years

14/03/2019

Council tax bills are set to increase by an average of 6.5% across Wales - the largest rise in 15 years - according to new figures.

Council tax rises will not fix ‘chronically underfunded’ care system

06/03/2019

Increases in council tax will fail to fix the ‘chronically underfunded’ social care system, local authority leaders have warned.

Council tax bills to increase by an average of 4.5%

05/03/2019

Council tax bills are set to rise by 4.5% in England from April, the second highest increase in the last decade.

Early intervention key to helping those at risk of falling into debt, says report

01/03/2019

Councils in Wales are being urged by a think tank to do more to support those at risk of falling into debt given the large council tax increases on the horizon.

Council's projected overspend more than doubles

25/02/2019

Highland Council has warned of a £5.5m overspend this year, more than double the amount previously predicted.

Northamptonshire approves 4.99% council tax rise

22/02/2019

Northamptonshire County Council has taken advantage of special freedom to increase council tax by 4.99% without needing to hold a referendum.

Nearly all English councils to increase council tax

14/02/2019

Most councils plan on increasing council tax this year while slashing frontline services due to Government cuts, survey reveals.

Northamptonshire given permission for extra council tax increase

29/01/2019

Northamptonshire County Council has been given the freedom to increase council tax by 2% more than other local authorities without holding a referendum, it was announced today.

Cuts to council tax support have created ‘sizeable’ increase in arrears

29/01/2019

Cuts to council tax support (CTS) have led to a surge in unpaid tax, new research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies has revealed.

‘Tweaking’ wealth taxes could raise £7bn a year, think tank says

03/01/2019

Reforming Britain’s wealth taxes could help the Government raise £7bn a year by 2022-23 to help cover the cost of public services, a think tank has argued.

Council revenues unlikely to ‘keep pace’ with demand on services

20/12/2018

Revenues from business rates and council tax will not keep pace with rising costs and demands for services, financial experts have warned.

Finance settlement: Government floats commercialisation crackdown

13/12/2018

Whitehall is considering a crackdown on councils that excessively borrow for commercial reasons as it continues to restrict council tax rises.

Councils welcome £13m financial package in Wales

21/11/2018

Local government leaders in Wales have welcomed the latest figures put forward by the Cardiff administration for next year's budgets – but warned there could still be further cuts to services or rises in council tax.

Council signs £65m deal with Capita

08/11/2018

Westminster City Council has renewed its contract with Capita in a deal worth around £65m over a decade.

Calls to increase council funding in Scotland by 2.5%

05/11/2018

Councils in Scotland are pressing for a 2.5% increase in local government funding, saying they have no options left to save money.

Threat of prison over unpaid council tax ends in Wales

05/11/2018

People will no longer be sent to prison for failing to pay their council tax, the Welsh government has announced.

Experts call for an end to imprisonment for council tax debt

17/10/2018

English councils are being urged to end the use of imprisonment for the non-payment of council tax.

Healey unveils council tax levy on holiday homes

24/09/2018

Labour would double council tax on second homes to help families living in temporary accommodation, shadow housing secretary John Healey is expected to announce later today.

Households owe £18.9bn on everyday bills

21/08/2018

Households owe nearly £19bn on essential bills such as council tax and utilities, Citizens Advice has warned today.

Haringey to reform council tax support

17/08/2018

Haringey LBC could invest £1.6m in 2019/20 to allow some of its poorest residents to not pay council tax.

MPs accuse councils of ‘overzealous’ debt collection

26/07/2018

The overzealous and uncompromising collection of debt by local councils is driving vulnerable people into further financial difficulty, MPs have warned today.

Care leavers exempt from paying council tax in Manchester

26/07/2018

Manchester City Council has announced care leavers will be exempt from paying council tax until they are 25.

Councils given power to increase taxation on empty homes

19/07/2018

Councils will be allowed to triple the council tax on homes left empty for five to 10 years, following an amendment to a government bill.

Councils call for tax increases on empty homes

18/07/2018

Council leaders have called for the power to double the amount of council tax on homes that have been left empty between two and five years.

Rise in children's services spending

28/06/2018

The amount expected to be spent on children’s social care in 2018/19 is up 6.8% or £542m compared to the figure in 2017/18 budgets, latest figures have shown.

MPs say levy for over 40s could fund free social care

26/06/2018

People aged over 40 should pay a dedicated social care premium to fund free care in the future, MPs have said.

Public 'willing' to pay more tax for certain services

25/06/2018

Most people would be prepared to pay more in council tax or one-off voluntary levies to fund particular local services, a new poll has revealed today.

Future of social care precept looks 'very bleak' from 2019 warns Care England

11/06/2018

A third of English councils will be unable to raise enough money through the social care precept to pay for the services they are meant to cover, according to new research.

Parish councils and the devolution of services

06/06/2018

Neil Merrick finds out why some parish councils are doubling or trebling council tax precepts after taking on services from higher tier authorities.

Local elections 2018: Decision time on local services

18/04/2018

What issues will the main political parties be focusing on in the upcoming local elections? Mark Whitehead investigates.

Parish and town councils welcome ‘fair funding’ letter

13/04/2018

The Government has written to billing authorities urging then to reconsider passing local council tax support on to parish and town councils.

Councils plan largest council tax rise in 13 years

28/03/2018

Council Tax levels will increase by an average of 5.1% across England in 2018/19, the largest rise for 13 years, ministers have confirmed.

Councils given power to double council tax on empty homes

28/03/2018

Councils will be allowed to double the rate of council tax on long-term empty properties under new legislation announced today.

IFS implores action over growing social care funding chasm

20/03/2018

The Government will need to scrap its funding reforms, significantly boost top-ups or centralise care if it is to plug the social care funding gap, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned today.

Scrap 'outdated and regressive council tax, says think tank

20/03/2018

Council tax is ‘outdated and regressive’, and the Government should consider scrapping it in favour of a fairer system, according to a think tank.

Council approves 12.5% council tax rise

09/03/2018

Pembrokeshire County Council has agreed to increase council tax by 12.5% for 2018/19.

Scottish households on low income ‘missing out’ on tax exemption

05/03/2018

Fewer than 4% of Scottish households eligible for council tax exemption are claiming the new benefit, research reveals.

Council tax set for biggest rise in 14 years, figures show

01/03/2018

Council tax payers face the sharpest rise in their taxes for 14 years, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy figures (CIPFA). 

Council tax increases not enough to stop cuts to services, warn town hall chiefs

26/02/2018

Services will continue to be cut back despite proposed council tax increases, council chiefs warn.

Developers sitting on more than 420,000 homes with planning permission

16/02/2018

The backlog of homes that have been given planning permission but are still waiting to be built has increased by almost 16% in the last year, new analysis has revealed today.

Charitable giving, the Westminster way

12/02/2018

Will a voluntary tax from the wealthiest residents in Westminster succeed in generating extra funding for services? Mark Whitehead reports.

Westminster council proposes ‘voluntary’ council tax scheme

12/02/2018

Westminster council is proposing to freeze council tax and replace it with a voluntary contribution after a consultation found ‘strong support’ for the idea.

Fraudster jailed over £45k council tax scam

02/02/2018

A man who used forged university documentation to scam eight local authorities out of £45,000 in council tax has been jailed for 18 months.

Welsh council proposes 12.5% council tax hike

01/02/2018

Pembrokeshire County Council has proposed increasing council tax by 12.5% as part of an effort to close a multi-million pound funding gap.

Council tax: a timely reminder

01/02/2018

With maximum council tax increases plugging less than a quarter of the funding gap facing local government, what does this mean for the future of public services? Mark Whitehead reports.

Local council tax support scheme delayed until March

26/01/2018

The deadline for when councils are required to have a local council tax support scheme in place will be pushed back two months, according to the minister for local government.

Most counties to increase council tax by extra 1%

25/01/2018

County council leaders have warned that the government's decision to allow them to raise council tax by 1% will only offset a tenth of the amount already being cut from their budgets.

Council tax is a regressive tax - it's time to do something

18/01/2018

With a tax based on 1991 property values, the decks are firmly stacked against a sector that is already facing a cliff edge in 2020, writes Jo Miller.

Districts call for council tax limit increase

16/01/2018

Districts have called for the council tax cap to be increased so they can raise an extra £9m.

Council tax has risen by 57% in past 20 years, research shows

15/01/2018

Local authorities have been urged to curb council tax increases after new research found rates have risen by 57% over the past 20 years.

Many councils remain at a tipping point

12/01/2018

Lord Porter looks back to the provisional finance settlement and ahead to the major financial challenges of the new year.

London mayor to increase council tax

21/12/2017

Sadiq Khan today announced proposals to increase his share of council tax from April 2018 by an average of 27p a week in order to fund emergency services.

Yorkshire Dales to hike council tax on second homes 500%

20/12/2017

The Yorkshire Dales authority is cracking down on second home ownership with a ‘radical’ proposal to increase council tax 500% for these properties.

Welsh council first to offer care leavers council tax relief

20/12/2017

Rhondda Cynon Taf has become the first Welsh council to agree to a council tax exemption for care leavers up to the age of 25.

Scots Budget reveals plan to increase income tax bands

14/12/2017

The Scottish Government has unveiled a draft budget which raises income tax in a bid to raise an extra £164m to pay for public services.

Councils urged to drop prison threats for council tax debts

28/11/2017

Money advice experts call for change in law to protect people from being locked up for council tax debts.

London borough to stop using bailiffs to chase debt

23/11/2017

Bailiffs will no longer be used to collect council tax debt under a new joint venture launched by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

Budget 2017: Housing Revenue Account cap lifted for some

22/11/2017

The Housing Revenue Account cap will be lifted for councils in ‘high-demand areas’ and stamp duty will be scrapped for most first-time buyers, chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his Budget speech today.

Warnings that 60% of council tax to be spent on social care by 2020

10/11/2017

Town hall chiefs have warned that by 2020, nearly 60p in every £1 of council tax will be spend on caring for adults and children by 2020, putting considerable strain on other services.

County funding black hole set to treble to £2.5bn by 2021

19/10/2017

An ‘extreme’ rise in demand on county authorities will treble their funding black hole to over £2.5bn in the next four years, county leaders reveal.

Counter-fraud pilot successful

18/10/2017

Councils are encouraged to sign up to a joint counter-fraud initiative with Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) investigators after a ‘successful pilot stage’.

Newcastle signs up to Council Tax Protocol

03/10/2017

Newcastle has become the latest council to sign up to a new protocol to help people struggling with council tax debts.

Council plans to launch country's first voluntary 'mansion tax'

02/10/2017

A voluntary 'mansion tax' on properties worth more than £10m is being considered by Westminster City Council.

Most vulnerable missing out on council tax discount, investigation reveals

29/09/2017

Two-thirds of councils are giving vulnerable people incorrect information about council tax discounts, an investigation has revealed.

Councils call for 2% health precept to invest in prevention

25/09/2017

District councils have called for introduction of a new health precept on council tax in order to raise £25m for preventative measures.

Councils to boost revenues collection with real-time intelligence

14/09/2017

Find out why authorities are investing in innovative new technology that provides up to date intelligence that sits alongside their own data, helping them make more informed decisions on recovery and forecasting.

Making life easier for care leavers

13/09/2017

Local authorities have been urged to make care leavers exempt from paying council tax until the age of 25. Tom Redfearn explains why.

Khan calls for council tax increases on empty homes

05/09/2017

London boroughs should have the power to increase the council tax on expensive homes that are left empty, according to calls from Sadiq Khan.

London council closes council tax ‘loophole’

31/08/2017

A London borough has closed a council tax ‘loophole’ which meant thousands of landlords were not paying tax over the summer period.

One in seven believe they’ll be exempt from council tax after retirement, survey reveals

26/07/2017

Many people facing retirement have unrealistic expectations of the discounts and subsidies they will be entitled to, according insurance company Aviva.

Porter: Abolish council tax referendums

04/07/2017

Referendums on council tax limits should be abolished in order to secure the financial sustainability of councils, Lord Porter will argue later today.

Tories claim 'Garden Tax' could affect 10 million homeowners

05/06/2017

Labour’s proposed Property and Garden Tax could increase the average council tax bill by 224%, the Conservatives have warned.

The changing face of parish councils

02/05/2017

Neil Merrick explores the expansion of parish council duties – and the subsequent rise in precepts.

Local taxes in Scotland should be fully devolved, think tank argues

10/04/2017

Council tax and business rates in Scotland should be devolved in full to local authorities, think tank says.

Council tax in Wales £171 a year less than in England

24/03/2017

Council tax in Wales remains lower than in England, new figures published today have revealed.

Surrey leader survives vote of no confidence

21/03/2017

An attempt to get rid of the leader of Surrey County Council in the wake of an alleged ‘sweetheart deal’ with the Government has failed today.

Councils paying staff £15m for trade union time

14/03/2017

Councils are spending more than £14.5m a year on providing ‘facility time’ for trade union reps, according to new research by the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA).

Surrey promised ‘extra funding’ to abandon 15% council tax referendum

10/03/2017

New documents have come to light revealing more evidence of a ‘secret deal’ between Surrey County Council and the Government over the county’s proposed 15% tax hike.

Leaked tape reveals Surrey's 'gentleman's agreement' with ministers

08/03/2017

A leaked recording has allegedly caught the leader of Surrey County Council, David Hodge, admitting he secured a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ from ministers to call off a referendum.

England facing ‘highest’ council tax increase in a decade

06/03/2017

England is facing the ‘single highest’ council tax increase in a decade, new study reveals.

Councils hit out at lack of new money in final settlement

21/02/2017

Local government figures have expressed their disappointment at a lack of new council funding in the 2017/18 settlement.

Finding the money for social care

21/02/2017

While the government's answer to solving the social care crisis appears to be increasing council tax bills, will this money even make a dent in the expected overspend this year? William Eichler and Laura Sharman investigate.

Services to be cut despite council tax rises, town hall chiefs warn

20/02/2017

Council tax rises designed to tackle the social care funding crisis will not prevent deep cuts to other local public services, town halls have warned.

Local authority announces proposed council tax cuts

14/02/2017

East Hampshire District Council has announced it intends to cut council tax for the second year in a row.

Surrey denies ‘sweetheart’ deal with Gov over council tax referendum

08/02/2017

Surrey CC has denied receiving a ‘sweetheart’ deal from the Government in return for ‘killing’ its referendum on proposals to hike council tax 15%.

First Scottish authority increases council tax following freeze

08/02/2017

Midlothian council has become the first Scottish local authority to increase council tax following a 10-year freeze.

Safeguarding shake-up image

Safeguarding shake-up

With local safeguarding children boards being abolished, Neil Merrick finds out what new arrangements councils are setting up in their local areas.
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Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

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