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Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles today praised councils that have already signalled they intend to help hard pressed families cope with the cost of living by signing up to the Government's council tax freeze offer

With over a month to go until final budget decisions are taken, press reports have shown that 152 councils in England are preparing to freeze or reduce council tax next year. Councils which have indicated they are going further and cutting council tax in cash terms include Hammersmith and Fulham, South Oxfordshire, Stratford-on-Avon, Tendring and Windsor and Maidenhead.

Council tax bills more than doubled since 1997 until last year's freeze. This is the second year the Government has offered support to freeze council tax to support local residents, families and pensioners.

The Government has set aside up to £675 million for local authorities in England to help keep council tax down. Last year's freeze saved households up to an estimated £72 on a Band D bill, and this year's freeze could potentially do the same.

This new support builds on the offer taken up by all councils last year boosting what they could get over four years to £3.3 billion if they hold council tax for a second year.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:

"I would like to congratulate the 150 or so local authorities, which have already signalled their intent to freeze or cut council tax this year.This will be welcome news for many council taxpayers who've seen their bills double since 1997.

"It is very early in the budget setting process, and I would fully expect this number to increase significantly over the next few weeks.Every councillor still to decide has an obligation to keep the living costs of their residents down and take the freeze money. A vote against a freeze is a vote for a punitive tax-rise when typical bill are already around £120 a month."


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Written by Scott Buckler   
Monday, 30 January 2012 16:35
Last Updated on Monday, 30 January 2012 16:37


0 #1 CouncillorJohn Matthissen,
The news story is how many councils, and other precepting authorities, are NOT accepting the inducement to freeze. Why is Govtoday uncritically churning out Gov't propaganda instead of providing analysis?

The offer for 2012/13 is quite different, for a single year, and puts councils at risk of holding a (costly) referendum next year.

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