CAPPING & GOOD PRACTICEWebsite for Good Practice in Local Government
Local Government Minister John Healey has today announced that the Government will take action to tackle excessive council tax rises set by eight authorities in 2008/09.
John Healey said:
"The Government is sending a clear message to all authorities - if you set an excessive increase in council tax, you can expect tough action from us to protect taxpayers."
In a statement to the House of Commons, Mr Healey said that, subject to approval of an order laid before it today, Lincolnshire Police Authority will be required to set a lower council tax in 2008/09 and will need to arrange for their residents to be re-billed.
For Cheshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire Police Authorities, council tax levels for 2008/09 will remain unchanged, but the Government intends to take action to protect council tax payers by limiting their maximum council tax precept increases in 2009/10 and 2010/11 to 3 per cent in each year. These authorities will have an opportunity to make further representations to the Government before final decisions are reached on these limits.
Action is also being taken against four authorities to restrict their scope for council tax increases in future years. While council tax levels for 2008/09 will stay the same for Bedfordshire, Norfolk and Surrey Police Authorities, and for Portsmouth City Council, notional budgets have been proposed against which budget and council tax levels will be measured in any future comparisons. These authorities now have 21 days in which to challenge their proposed notional budget levels before a final decision is taken.
Local Government Minister John Healey said:
"In taking this necessary action, I recognise that local government generally has done a great deal to ensure that they do not place unnecessary pressures on their council taxpayers. More than 98 per cent of authorities did not set excessive increases - and the average Band D council tax increase in England for 2008-09 is 4.0 per cent, the lowest increase for 14 years and the second lowest ever.
"There is no excuse for excessive increases in council tax, and authorities should be in no doubt that the Government will use its full range of capping powers to deal with excessive increases and protect council tax payers in future years."
Posted by BPWS 21.02 .
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Posted by BPWS 21.02 .
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