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LONDON TAXES RISE 7%

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Council tax bills in London will rise by just under 7%. The rise is partly caused by heavy precept rises to pay for...
Council tax bills in London will rise by just under 7%. The rise is partly caused by heavy precept rises to pay for the Greater London Authority and its functions. This year's average 6.9% rise indicates that most councils have successfully absorbed the increase.

It is almost half a percentage point ahead of last year's increases. Many council leaders have attacked the government over the precept, which will add about£16 to average band D council tax bills over last year's figures. Much of the extra cash will go to the Metropolitan Police (LGC, 4 February).

Westminster City Council Conservative leader Melvyn Caplan said: 'While the council supports moves to strengthen the Metropolitan Police and tackle crime and nuisance, we consider this huge rise in the precept, caused by government financing changes, unjustifiable.'

The council claims the recommended tax for its own requirements will rise by only 1.8%, but with the expected precept increases, band D council tax is being set at£375, a rise of 7.1%.

Similar complaints came from Waltham Forest LBC. It said: 'We had planned for a precept increase above inflation - about 7%. The 17% increase [in the met precept] means we've had to do a lot of extra work.'

The Association of London Government has attacked the rise as 'a thumping blow' and called on the government to cushion its effects with extra cash.

Hillingdon LBC looks set to impose the highest rise in the capital. Administration leader Richard Barnes says an increase of 10-12% is needed to pay for the rising costs of asylum seekers. But Mr BarnesÕs minority Tory administration could be defeated.

Six councils were unable to supply LGC with figures.

Band D London tax increases

BoroughBand D Increase on

2000-01 1999-2000

Hillingdon£847.6611%*

Merton£866.6910.5%**

Bromley£735.669.8%

Lewisham£798.259.7%**

Newham£768.139.0%

Richmond upon Thames£908.658.9%

Enfield£797.308.8%

Kingston upon Thames£863.198.7%**

Harrow£852.638.3%

Havering£853.008.0%

Tower Hamlets£726.528.0%**

Wandsworth£398.007.6%

Ealing£756.157.5%

Kensington & Chelsea£615.057.4%

Barnet£814.857.1%**

Westminster£375.007.1%**

Bexley£802.296.9%

Croydon£807.646.5%

Sutton£795.566.3%

Hammersmith & Fulham£878.406.2%

Southwark£845.444.6%

Waltham Forest£877.594.4%**

Camden£933.724.1%**

Corporation of London£556.773.9%

Haringey£932.003.8%

Lambeth£656.002.2%

Greenwich£883.350.0%

Average6.9%

*An increase of 10-12% is proposed by Conservative leader Richard Barnes to meet the cost of asylum seekers. The average figure has been used for this table.

**Recommended figure

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