A forecast for the year prior to the council tax bill e.g. for 2010-11, councils would report forecast efficiency for 2009-10. This will be based on raw returns, so is not an indication of impact on households.
Actual efficiency savings for the financial year two years before the council tax bill, e.g. for 2010-11, councils would report savings for 2008-09.
The forecast for the previous year divided by the number of Band D equivalent dwellings in the local authority, e.g. for 2010-11, councils would report efficiency per Band D equivalent dwelling for 2009-10. Clearly indicates to public what efficiency means for them. However, may be misleading as areas with higher need and therefore higher level of resources per household will achieve ‘higher’ efficiency gains than peers with same percentage of efficiency gains.
The forecast for the previous year as a percentage of 2007-08 baseline total spend as of the 2009-10 financial year. Puts comparative performance across councils on the same basis. However, baseline could be volatile, for example because of capital expenditure.
An accompanying leaflet will benchmark councils’ efficiency per Band D dwelling calculated using forecasts from councils of that type for the previous year e.g. in 2010-11, a London borough would report efficiency per Band D dwelling for 2009-10 for London boroughs as a whole.
The government is also ready to pre-empt the calls for council tax cuts that are likely to result. The consultation paper suggests a footnote to the effect that “council tax only raises part of the money needed to pay for those services, and the efficiencies cannot all be put towards reducing council tax bills”.