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CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, has today released the results of its annual Welsh council tax survey which reveals an increase of 4% for an average Band D household in Wales in 2015 or an increase of £52.
The survey shows that councils across Wales will raise their council tax for an average Band D property to £1,327.85 in 2015-16, up from £1,275.85 the year before.
This increase is in contrast to the 1% or £16 increase across England this year due to the Welsh Government not having to implement the Coalition Government’s referendum cap on local authorities’ setting of council tax rates.
New analysis from CIPFA has found that if Welsh council tax had been capped as in England over the Parliament (since 2010/11) in line with the Government’s inflation target of 2%, the level at which English councils have to hold a referendum for any increase, then the average council tax bill would now be £84 less at £1,243.79.
However the higher rate that council tax has increased by has provided local authorities in Wales with an additional £100 million in funding a year in 2015-16 to support local services.
The Head of CIPFA in Wales, Chris Tidswell commented on the survey findings:
“Councils across Wales have not been subject to Central Government’s referendum cap on local authorities’ setting of council tax rates or able to apply for Whitehall’s council tax freeze grant, which means they have been free to set council tax rates to reflect local need.
“Many households in Wales are struggling to manage their budgets so an increase above the rate of RPI inflation will not be welcome. But it is also important to look at the other side of this increase which is an additional £100 million a year in resources to be used locally.
“The tough reality is that many local authorities are facing further cuts at the same time as they are seeing a rise in demand for services and as a result are grappling with an uncertain future when it comes to sustaining vital local services. Any additional revenue from council tax in this context may contribute to relieving some of the pressures facing services which serve local communities.”
Table 1 lists the council tax rate for average Band D properties in Wales and the council tax take (council tax requirement) for 2015-6 according to CIPFA’s data. It also calculates both how much council tax would now cost and what the council tax base would now be if it had instead increased by either 2% (based on the Central Government’s inflation target), CPI inflation or RPI inflation.
Table 1: Band D Council Tax & Council Tax Requirement figures - 2015/16 Wales only
Band D Equivalent Council Tax - Wales
Council Tax Requirement* - Wales
*Local Council Tax Requirement + Police Precept (Rounded to nearest £k)
CIPFA - Data from CIPFA questionnaire 2015-16 returns
2% - Figures based on a 2% rise in Band D Council Tax since 2010-11
CPI - Figures based on a rise in Band D Council Tax by CPI inflation since 2010-11
RPI - Figures based on a rise in Band D Council Tax by RPI inflation since 2010-11