England’s average Band D council tax bill has gone up by £67 today to nearly £2,000 a year.
Official figures show the 3.5% hike – despite Tory ministers insisting most rises would be capped at 3% – brings England’s average bill for a Band D home to £1,966.
It comes at the same time as a cost-of-living crisis that is seeing National Insurance, inflation and energy bills all soaring while income tax thresholds are frozen for millions, leading to the biggest income drop since records began in the 1950s.
It means families in Band D homes will have almost half of this year’s £150 discount – which is meant to pay for spiralling energy costs – swallowed by rising council tax.
The average Band A bill will rise to £1,310, Band B to £1,529 and Band C to £1,747 a year.
The totals do not factor in this year’s £150 discount for families in Bands A to D to help pay for spiralling energy bills.
But the £150 discount is one-off and will not be applied next year, when bills are likely to rise again with the average Band D total topping £2,000 for the first time.
Scroll down to use our council tax rises search tool.
Council tax bands are decided by looking at roughly how much a home is worth.
Because most homes are in lower bands, Band D council tax is not actually the average.
After the £150 discount, the average council tax per dwelling will be £1,375 in 2022/23.
But the latest rise will mean Band D bills have shot up by more than £500 a year since the Tories took power in 2010.
Most councils responsible for social care were told they could raise bills by 2.99% – 1% for care and 1.99% for general funds – in 2022/23.
But figures earlier this week confirmed 63 out of 151 in England are lifting bills by more than 3% – with Bolsover’s bills rising by a whopping 5.33%.
This is partly because town halls that did not use up all of a 3% allowance last time can carry it over in 2022/23. It is also because some individual segments or “precepts” of council tax can rise by more than 3%.
Despite the major rises, councils will still find themselves worse off and contemplating cuts to services as inflation is set to nudge 9% this year.
Andrew Dixon, founder of campaign group Fairer Share, demanded an overhaul to the entire council tax system which is based on what homes would have been worth in 1991.
He said: “The latest council tax rises are exorbitant, inequitable and an affront to millions of people in modest homes up and down the UK.
“The Chancellor now urgently needs to stop fiddling while Rome burns.
“As the cost of living crisis escalates yet further, the time has come to kill off council tax and stamp duty and bring in a modern proportional property tax which reflects existing property prices, not values from over 30 years ago.”
Tax Justice UK Executive Director Robert Palmer added: “This is going to worsen the cost of living scandal faced by families right now.
“An increase in council tax will hit poorer households much harder than wealthier ones. It’s a political choice to be allowing council tax to rise while also putting up national insurance.
“ Rishi Sunak needs to rethink. He should close the tax loopholes open to the rich and powerful.
“He should also implement a windfall tax on oil and gas companies like BP who are enjoying a massive windfall while people across the country struggle to pay their energy bills.”
A government spokesperson said: “We understand the pressures people are facing with the cost of living. These are global challenges, but the government has committed a £22 billion package to help support families and ensure people keep more of their money.
“Our £150 council tax rebate will mean that council tax costs will not rise for the majority of people, including those on the lowest incomes. This is alongside a £200 reduction in energy bills in October.
“An additional £144 million will also be given to councils to provide discretionary support to any household in need, regardless of council tax band”
How much will my council tax go up?
Search tool created by CARLOS NÓVOA and CLAIRE MILLER of the REACH DATA UNIT.
Enter your postcode and select your Band below to see your area’s projected rise from 1 April 2022. These figures are not the final rises – they are as our research indicated in February. Updated government figures were out earlier this week. Scroll down for a fuller explanation of what the figures mean.
How do I calculate my Council Tax band?
Houses are ‘banded’ from Band A to Band H depending on how valuable they are, and a formula is then applied to the Band D rate to determine how much you pay.
In theory Band D is the average home, though in some areas – poorer parts of the north of England for example, and in Northumbria – the majority of homes are actually in Band A.
So some councils contest the idea that a Band D home is ‘average’, because actually most people are in the cheapest bracket.
You can search for your Council Tax band here on the government’s website, or find it on last year’s bill.
What our search tool includes
Your council tax is split up into different sections called “precepts”, imposed by different authorities, and they all rise at different rates.
We have calculated our figures using the rise in by far the biggest section of your bill – your social care authority.
This is either your County, Metropolitan Borough, London Borough or Unitary council, depending on where you live.
Our search tool has also been tweaked this year to include rises imposed by the Greater London Authority, which is adding 8.8% to its share of bills.
So if you live in London, our tool should be a pretty bang-on reflection of your tax rise – or at least, what was proposed back in February.
What our search tool does NOT include
Our search tool does not include the rise in the precept for parish councils, smaller district councils (if you’re in a county council area), fire authorities, or police authorities outside London.
Our final prediction of your council tax does include the precepts themselves – but only at last year’s rates, without the rise expected in April.
The reason we’ve left these extra rises out is because there are so many, it becomes extremely complex to include them in our search tool.
However, these precepts are quite small – so the extra rise to all of them, on top of what our search tool says, is usually less than £20 a year for a Band D home.
Our figures also only apply to the council system in England, not Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
What do council leaders say?
Shaun Davies of the Local Government Association warned councils are facing a “tough choice” of hiking bills or cutting services.
“The Government continues to rely on council tax raising powers to increase councils’ core spending power,” he told the Mirror.
Tim Oliver, Chairman of the County Councils Network, said leaders were left with no choice by a £700m government back hole.
“A large proportion of these council tax rises will be used to fund vital adult social care services,” he said.
“County areas receive half of England’s entire requests for social care services, a challenge which has been exacerbated by demand and costs rising sharply during the pandemic.”
Yesterday the government announced its fourth temporary bailout for Transport for London, this time £200m taking it to June.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has accused the government of failing to invest in the capital, warning he will cut services if there is not a U-turn.
Do I get a separate Council Tax discount?
Several groups can get a discount off the full rate of Council Tax or not pay it at all. They include:
- Full-time students (100% off)
- Armed Forces in Forces accommodation (100% off)
- People who have moved into a care home or hospital (100% off)
- People who live alone (25% off)
- Apprentices, student nurses, monks and nuns, carers (up to 50% off)
However, if you’re in a mixed household you may still have to pay the full rate. Use the government’s tool here to see if you’re eligible.
I’m a council officer or councillor and have a query about the figures
Our figures were sourced from finance reports to Cabinet/Executive and Full Council meetings.
These figures can change late in the process, so if you believe we need to update your area’s figure on our search tool, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Council Tax’.