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Social care council tax rises - Westminster's reaction

Council tax payers across the South West are facing large increases in their bills to help cover the cost of looking after the elderly and vulnerable.

It could see the average bill increase by £90 over the next two years, under plans announced by the Government.

Our political correspondent David Wood gave us the reaction from Westminster.

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Fuel duty frozen for seventh year in row

Fuel duty has been held at 57.95p per litre since the March 2011 Budget Credit: PA

Speaking in his Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond cancelled next year's planned rise in fuel duty.

It's the seventh successive year that the tax has been frozen.

In the South West, where many people rely on their car to get around and run their business along a network of long roads, this should be good news.

Mr Hammond said: "This will save the average car driver £130 a year and the average van driver £350 a year.

Small businesses to benefit as Rural Rate Relief raised to 100%

Rural Rate Relief is to be increased to 100% giving small businesses a tax break worth up to £2900.

Who gets rural rate relief?

  • if your business is in a rural area with a population below 3,000
  • if you are the only village shop or post office, with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • if you are the only pub or petrol station, with a rateable value of up to £12,500
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