Council tax rates to see ‘painful’ rises for 2021/22 – average increases of 4.4% confirmed | Personal Finance | Finance

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Council tax bills will rise over the coming months as the Government has today confirmed what local authorities will set the levels at in England. Analysis of the details showed some households will see thousands added on to their monthly bills.

The Government uses Band D as a reference because: “Band D council tax is the standard measure of council tax (all other bands are set as a proportion of the Band D) and is the council tax payable on a Band D dwelling occupied as a main residence by at least two adults, after any reductions due to discounts, exemptions or local council tax support schemes.”

Homes in England will be put into a council tax band from A (the lowest value) to H (the highest), with there being slightly different systems in place in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Hargreaves Lansdown examined the data and noted the lowest council tax bills can be found in Westminster, where the cheapest band A properties pay £533 a year.

In Nottingham, the most expensive band H properties pay £4,452.

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Hargreaves Lansdown detailed the top ten band D council taxes can be found in the following areas:

  • Nottingham – £2,226
  • Dorset Council – £2,223
  • Rutland – £2,195
  • Lewes – £2,189
  • Newark & Sherwood – £2,171
  • West Devon – £2,167
  • Bristol – £2,164
  • Gateshead – £2,145
  • Hastings – £2,133
  • Durham – £2,138

Sarah Coles, a personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented on these increases: “In the midst of a pandemic, when one in three people have seen their income drop and one in five have had to cut back on essentials, the Government decided it wasn’t the time to hike taxes.

“Unfortunately, for those who were already struggling to make ends meet, it has made a painful exception for council tax. This will rise 4.4 percent on April 1.

“It’s the sixth year in a row we’ve been hit with inflation-busting rises. This year the government allowed councils to increase it by up to five percent without triggering a referendum.

“To add insult to injury, it comes at the same time as a huge number of price increases – on what has become an annual price rise day.”

Sarah concluded: “Hikes include raising the cap on energy prices, increasing prescription and dentist charges, water bills, some broadband and TV bills, the TV licence fee, air passenger duty for long-haul flights and some car tax.

“An average council tax rise of £6.75 a month doesn’t sound like it’s going to make a major difference to your household budget, but a few pounds here and there soon adds up. When it comes at a time when some people’s budgets are stretched to breaking point, it could be the final straw.

“So rather than just accepting these price increases, think about whether you can cut some of them instead.

“Shopping around for energy, TV and broadband, and weighing up the possible savings from things like water meters and pre-paid certificates for prescriptions – can bring your costs down again. So although you can’t avoid higher council tax bills, you can take some of the sting out of it by cutting your bills elsewhere.”

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