1. National

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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Find out what your council's tax plans are

As councils publish draft budgets for next year, our council tax blog is keeping track of their council tax proposals. It already looks as though there will be more councils refusing the freeze funding and increasing council tax next year.

With several weeks to go until budgets must be finalised, we count 26 councils that have confirmed their intentions to increase tax levels.

We expect this number to increase in coming weeks. If we were betting people, we’d estimate around a third of councils will increase tax levels next year – somewhere around 100 councils.

– Ruth Keeling, LGC Chief Reporter

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