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‘Expect a 5% Council Tax hike’

Created on 06/10/2017 @ 11:17
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Councils will have to raise council tax by 5% next year, the leader of the Welsh Local Government Association has told the BBC.

The Welsh Government's draft budget will see council budgets fall by between 1.5% and 2% after inflation next April, and Debbie Wilcox suggested she “can't see how else” councils could respond.

But she said that it was “very difficult” to go out and ask people to pay more when services are “thin”.

Councils raise around £1.4bn annually from council tax, funding about 16% of their spending on local services. The average council tax in Wales is currently £1,251 per home, making a 5% rise an extra £62.50 a year.

Asked if councils would have to increase council tax by the Welsh Government's preferred maximum of 5%, Ms Wilcox told Good Morning Wales: “I can't see how else you can do it.

“Again, we're hitting the very people who are hit by austerity, so we're asking people to pay more for fewer things we can provide.”

The size of the Welsh Government's annual grant to each individual Welsh council will be announced next Tuesday.

The Welsh Government intends to consult on initial proposals to change council taxes in Wales in early 2018, which could include an updated valuation of properties - the last one was done in April 2003.

Ministers in Cardiff have said they are planning to make changes that “benefit those households which are less able to pay their council tax bills”.


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