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LGA: Average council tax rise 3.5%

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The Local Government Association has hailed this year’s council tax rises as “the lowest for a decade” with bills likely to rise by around 3.5% this April.

The result of the LGA's annual snapshot survey of 140 councils, police and fire authorities in England compares with the current CPI measure of inflation at 4.1%, although this is expected to fall dramatically over the year.

Once again, London saw the lowest rises with bills going up by an average of 1.2%. The highest rises were in the west Midlands at 4%.

Local Government Association chair Margaret Eaton said: “Money is tight for everyone and nobody likes paying more council tax but town halls are making enormous efforts to keep bills down.”

But shadow communities secretary Eric Pickles slammed the figures as a “kick in the teeth” for families and pensioners.

“Government spin doctors are living in fantasy land if they think a£50 a year increase is something to celebrate,” he said.

He claimed bills had risen by 106% under 11 years of a Labour government.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Communities & Local Government said: “We have consistently been clear that the average council tax increase should be substantially below 5% and the LGA’s survey confirms many town halls rightly expect to keep council tax bills down next year.

“Ministers stand ready to take tough capping action if needed to protect council taxpayers against individual councils.”

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