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Government puts up your Council Tax

September 5, 2019 7:50 AM

The Chancellor has announced a £2.9bn increase in 'local government spending capacity', to include £1.5bn for social care. What this means is that councils will be permitted to put an extra 2% on the Council Tax (CT) on top of the normal increase. Because of the drastic underfunding of care services local authorities are likely to impose the tax increase.

Government likes using Council Tax in this way - it allows ministers to take the credit for increasing funding whilst councils take the blame for the continuing above-inflation hikes in CT.

The Chancellor also announced the End of Austerity - which is curious as his predecessor also claimed to have ended it - giving out £13.8 for health, education and policing, plus £2bn for the costs of Brexit.

This is good news for Wiltshire in the short term, and should lead to a reduction in the rate of cuts to local services. In the longer term everything still looks very cloudy ...