The organisation that represents councils in Wales says that council tax will rise by an average of 2.9% in the coming year. The WLGA says this will mean that households in Wales will pay over £200 less on average than those in England. The increase will work out on average at £27 over a year.
This prediction is based on a survey of councils across Wales, although not all councils have yet finalised their budgets.
In England council tax is expected to rise by an average of 1.1% according to the the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
Welsh councils are seeking to maintain their efforts to keep council tax rates down as low as possible, but it is inevitable that bills will rise given the current economic circumstances. Local government is experiencing unprecedented financial pressures due to the poor economic climate, real terms cuts to grant funding and UK Government reform of the Welfare state. Our focus is on getting the balance right for our citizens.
More will pay council tax -and it will cost more to collect, AMs are warned
by Nick Powell
Council tax benefit regulations being rushed through the Senedd today mean 70% of claimants will have to pay some council tax for the first time, AMs have been told. They've been specially recalled from their Christmas recess for today's debate after the Welsh government rewrote the regulations.
The first draft was blocked by the opposition when AMs were given no time to consider the proposals before voting on them. The Welsh Government said it was because the Treasury didn't tell them how much funding there would be for the benefit until late on the last day of the Assembly autumn term.
Today David Melding, who chaired the committee that examined the revised regulations, said they now include a "sunset clause" that means there will have to be another debate next year. He added that with most claimants now paying tax, it will cost more to collect -and probably more unpaid bills.
The Welsh Government is facing renewed calls to freeze council tax, following a decision in England to keep it at its current level. Only four councils here will implement a freeze. Ministers here say council tax is already lower in Wales and levels are up to individual councils