Council tax is a major drain on the bank balances of many households. Ratepayers all over Britain constantly have to pay inflation busting rises every year. Our research has shown that on average between 1997 and 2017, council tax increased by 57 per cent in real terms across England. At least in England rises in council tax are capped (usually to around 4 to 5 per cent) but this is not the case in Wales, where many councils have imposed double-digit rises on their residents.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance has long campaigned against these rises and our research reveals that many councils still have plenty of fat left to trim from their budgets. Be it mayoral cars, bloated press departments and business class flights, to name just a few, local authorities are not managing taxpayers’ money wisely.
Our 2018 report, Twenty Years of Council Tax, showed that between 1997 and 2017, council tax in England had increased by 57 per cent in real terms.
We regularly visit towns and cities from Plymouth to Powys, Aberdeen to Ashford to hold councils to account. In Powys the council wanted to impose an astronomical rise of 12 per cent in council tax. Combining the resources of our research, media and grassroots teams we were able to force the council to reconsider their plans. The rise was confined to single digits and Band D households saved just over £36 per year.
There is still more to be done though, many councils continue to blame central government funding cuts and plead poverty whilst remunerating failing chief executives with gold plated pay packets. We will continue to expose wasteful spending by councils. Longer term, we are calling on politicians to consider a new funding model for local authorities, as we have laid out our landmark publication The Single Income Tax.
Please email us if you are fed up with inflation busting rises and want the TaxPayers’ Alliance to campaign in your area.