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Councils 'cheating' over tax rise

The Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has attacked councils in England who are not holding referenda on council tax rises as "dodging democracy" and "cheating taxpayers." Ministers want those rising it above 2% to hold a public vote on it.

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Councils look set to defy Government with tax rise

The Local Government Chronicle (LGC) has supplied ITV News with its latest projections for local authorities' approach to council tax in the wake of Eric Pickles' funding attack, supporting predictions that a number look set to defy the Government.

The LGC said budget assumptions and funding proposals allow it to predict the council tax intentions of 74 councils, with the remainder of the 351 English councils still unknown. It said:

  • 26 authorities are considering an increase of between 1.6% and 4.4%, though the majority will raise tax to 1.9%, keeping them narrowly within the Government's planned referendum threshold.
  • Two authorities, Hammersmith & Fulham LBC and South Holland District Council, plan to cut council tax. (Last year saw 35 councils opt for a cut by the decision deadline.)
  • 46 authorities look set to obey Government calls and freeze council tax.

Visit the LGC website for a more detailed breakdown of the latest projected figures.

Mr Pickles, meanwhile, has said the Coalition is aware of 115 councils who have confirmed they will opt to freeze.

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