Council tax bills set to rise across the North-East and North Yorkshire as councils battle massive budget cuts

REG LEAD Council tax bills set to rise across the North-East as councils battle massive budget cuts

REG LEAD Council tax bills set to rise across the North-East as councils battle massive budget cuts

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Regional Chief Reporter

COUNCIL tax bills are set to rise across the region this year with the majority of local authorities increasing precepts rather than accepting a Government grant to freeze the tax.

The North-East now has the highest council tax in the country, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA).

CIPFA’s annual council tax survey reveals that bills will rise by an average of 0.9 per cent in the North-East and Yorkshire in 2014/15.

This will mean an average bill of £1,549.10 for a Band D property in the North-East and £1,440.55 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

In the face of huge budget cuts, many of the region’s local councils have opted to increase the tax by as much as 1.99 per cent – with two per cent rises triggering a local referendum.

The Government has offered councils a grant equivalent to one per cent of their council tax income if they freeze the tax.

In the North-East, several councils including Hartlepool and Sunderland have accepted the grant, although many have not.

One of the latest councils to set a 1.99 per cent increase is Redcar and Cleveland.

Explaining the decision, Norman Pickthall, cabinet member for corporate resources, said: “Even with this modest increase in place the council still has to make £19.8m in savings over the next three years, as a result of Government funding cuts and service demands.

“Accepting a Government grant to freeze council tax would only provide short term relief and would cost the council a further £2.6m by the end of the decade.

“Councillors felt that they had to reach an appropriate position that balances service delivery needs against a council tax increase.”

Coun Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, which last week agreed a 1.94 per cent rise, claimed the entire council tax system was flawed.

A study released today by the York-based Joseph Rowntree Foundation also criticised the tax, claiming it was “unfair, unpopular and outdated”.

According to the report, After the Council Tax: Impacts of property tax reform on people, places and house prices, policy makers and politicians should start thinking about long-term replacements for council tax.

The charity stated that it was becoming unsustainable for ministers to offer grants to freeze council tax.

Comments (16)

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7:16am Wed 5 Mar 14

stevegg says...

Councils dont care how hard pressed taxpayers are, they never have, and given the chance they would be imposing double figure rises without hesitation year on year as Darlington council did fro 1998-2006 in the so called boom years. Council tax would be on par with a mortgage payment by 2020 if it wasnt capped.
Councils dont care how hard pressed taxpayers are, they never have, and given the chance they would be imposing double figure rises without hesitation year on year as Darlington council did fro 1998-2006 in the so called boom years. Council tax would be on par with a mortgage payment by 2020 if it wasnt capped. stevegg
  • Score: 14

7:37am Wed 5 Mar 14

laboursfoe says...

Labour councils don't care about raising Council Tax.

If they have a good proportion of residents who are eligible for Council Tax benefit they see it as an opportunity to raise the tax with less impact to the residents. They seem to have little regard for those that can pay the full quota and even less for those that do pay the full quota but struggle.
Labour councils don't care about raising Council Tax. If they have a good proportion of residents who are eligible for Council Tax benefit they see it as an opportunity to raise the tax with less impact to the residents. They seem to have little regard for those that can pay the full quota and even less for those that do pay the full quota but struggle. laboursfoe
  • Score: 12

8:18am Wed 5 Mar 14

Jonn says...

laboursfoe wrote:
Labour councils don't care about raising Council Tax.

If they have a good proportion of residents who are eligible for Council Tax benefit they see it as an opportunity to raise the tax with less impact to the residents. They seem to have little regard for those that can pay the full quota and even less for those that do pay the full quota but struggle.
Get a house in a lower council tax band if you are struggling then.
[quote][p][bold]laboursfoe[/bold] wrote: Labour councils don't care about raising Council Tax. If they have a good proportion of residents who are eligible for Council Tax benefit they see it as an opportunity to raise the tax with less impact to the residents. They seem to have little regard for those that can pay the full quota and even less for those that do pay the full quota but struggle.[/p][/quote]Get a house in a lower council tax band if you are struggling then. Jonn
  • Score: -12

8:24am Wed 5 Mar 14

laboursfoe says...

Haha, I'm not struggling mate. Far from it

But I know of people that are. Thanks for the advice ;-)
Haha, I'm not struggling mate. Far from it But I know of people that are. Thanks for the advice ;-) laboursfoe
  • Score: 4

8:30am Wed 5 Mar 14

BMD says...

If the Cap was at 6%, Darlington Council would still plead poverty and raise the level to 5.94%.
If the Cap was at 6%, Darlington Council would still plead poverty and raise the level to 5.94%. BMD
  • Score: 12

8:33am Wed 5 Mar 14

Mod says...

laboursfoe wrote:
Labour councils don't care about raising Council Tax. If they have a good proportion of residents who are eligible for Council Tax benefit they see it as an opportunity to raise the tax with less impact to the residents. They seem to have little regard for those that can pay the full quota and even less for those that do pay the full quota but struggle.
As the saying goes---- "If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you will always be able to count on having Paul's support".
[quote][p][bold]laboursfoe[/bold] wrote: Labour councils don't care about raising Council Tax. If they have a good proportion of residents who are eligible for Council Tax benefit they see it as an opportunity to raise the tax with less impact to the residents. They seem to have little regard for those that can pay the full quota and even less for those that do pay the full quota but struggle.[/p][/quote]As the saying goes---- "If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you will always be able to count on having Paul's support". Mod
  • Score: 6

9:09am Wed 5 Mar 14

st-george1 says...

The arrogance of some of the public sector people, so obviously unfit for purpose …
My tutor always taught me to remember that POWER in local government CORRUPTS and the more powerful some think they are, the more corrupt they will beand the more they will abuse the taxpayers and their money … and guess who voted for them !
The arrogance of some of the public sector people, so obviously unfit for purpose … My tutor always taught me to remember that POWER in local government CORRUPTS and the more powerful some think they are, the more corrupt they will beand the more they will abuse the taxpayers and their money … and guess who voted for them ! st-george1
  • Score: 7

9:29am Wed 5 Mar 14

st-george1 says...

Redcar & Cleveland Council is still OWED £30 MILLION of business rates by SSI steelworks we are told and YET council taxes are being pushed up 2% … now that’s exceptionally bad management !
It’s mind-boggling that such financial skulduggery between this Council and the non-profit making debt-ridden steelworks has been allowed to continue, despite telling the world that SSI are breaking all production records BUT making absolutely NO OPERATING PROFIT, at huge expense to the genuine taxpayers
Redcar & Cleveland Council is still OWED £30 MILLION of business rates by SSI steelworks we are told and YET council taxes are being pushed up 2% … now that’s exceptionally bad management ! It’s mind-boggling that such financial skulduggery between this Council and the non-profit making debt-ridden steelworks has been allowed to continue, despite telling the world that SSI are breaking all production records BUT making absolutely NO OPERATING PROFIT, at huge expense to the genuine taxpayers st-george1
  • Score: 8

10:32am Wed 5 Mar 14

Jonn says...

laboursfoe wrote:
Haha, I'm not struggling mate. Far from it

But I know of people that are. Thanks for the advice ;-)
Then, as the Government keep telling us, they should live within their means. I know plenty who have bought bigger houses in areas they can't afford, trying to keep up with the Joneses then moan about paying for it.
[quote][p][bold]laboursfoe[/bold] wrote: Haha, I'm not struggling mate. Far from it But I know of people that are. Thanks for the advice ;-)[/p][/quote]Then, as the Government keep telling us, they should live within their means. I know plenty who have bought bigger houses in areas they can't afford, trying to keep up with the Joneses then moan about paying for it. Jonn
  • Score: -4

11:17am Wed 5 Mar 14

laboursfoe says...

The couple I speak of rent the property.

The point which you obviously missed was that the Labour Councils recognise the opportunity that having large proportions of residents in receipt of Council Benefit brings. They can, and most certainly did during the Labour years, hike up Council Tax in the knowledge that Tyne shortfall would be paid by the government.

Win win for them, no risk and increases to the income stream. Now that the government is restricting the increases and reducing funding the pet lips come out!!
The couple I speak of rent the property. The point which you obviously missed was that the Labour Councils recognise the opportunity that having large proportions of residents in receipt of Council Benefit brings. They can, and most certainly did during the Labour years, hike up Council Tax in the knowledge that Tyne shortfall would be paid by the government. Win win for them, no risk and increases to the income stream. Now that the government is restricting the increases and reducing funding the pet lips come out!! laboursfoe
  • Score: 4

12:54pm Wed 5 Mar 14

tpk says...

Get a house in a lower council tax band if you are struggling then.

In Darlington even a property in the lowest band is nearly £100 / month council tax.

I've been in work non stop since I was 18 on a low wage, never claimed or been entitled to any benefits & would NEVER vote labour. The last 4 years has seen my wage improve due to the tax band rises & council tax caps of the coalition.
[quote]Get a house in a lower council tax band if you are struggling then.[/quote] In Darlington even a property in the lowest band is nearly £100 / month council tax. I've been in work non stop since I was 18 on a low wage, never claimed or been entitled to any benefits & would NEVER vote labour. The last 4 years has seen my wage improve due to the tax band rises & council tax caps of the coalition. tpk
  • Score: 8

3:10pm Wed 5 Mar 14

DarloXman says...

Jonn wrote:
laboursfoe wrote:
Labour councils don't care about raising Council Tax.

If they have a good proportion of residents who are eligible for Council Tax benefit they see it as an opportunity to raise the tax with less impact to the residents. They seem to have little regard for those that can pay the full quota and even less for those that do pay the full quota but struggle.
Get a house in a lower council tax band if you are struggling then.
I've worked very hard for what I've got.

Despite being able to afford my "excessive" council tax I do object to paying it for the pitiful services I receive, I have just one wheelie bin and one lamp post outside my house - yet over the past 20+ years I have lived in Darlington I have suffered inflation plus increases for continued reducing services.

The services provided for the masses of Darlington are a joke. There used to be a decent range of affordable educational night classes - not anymore, the streets used to be maintained - not anymore, grassed areas and bushed/tree areas used to be cut/maintained - not anymore! Get the theme? More charges yet less services - but always someone else's fault!

Why does everything that Darlington Council offer that is supposed to be subsidised from my council tax cost me more than what I can get from a private supplier?? Example - the Dolphin Centre - I have just joined a private gym (better equipped) at a price of less than a third of the subsidised Dolphin Centre - why is that??

Add to that the lies we are told that we have one of the lowest council tax charges in the UK and you can perhaps understand frustration!
[quote][p][bold]Jonn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]laboursfoe[/bold] wrote: Labour councils don't care about raising Council Tax. If they have a good proportion of residents who are eligible for Council Tax benefit they see it as an opportunity to raise the tax with less impact to the residents. They seem to have little regard for those that can pay the full quota and even less for those that do pay the full quota but struggle.[/p][/quote]Get a house in a lower council tax band if you are struggling then.[/p][/quote]I've worked very hard for what I've got. Despite being able to afford my "excessive" council tax I do object to paying it for the pitiful services I receive, I have just one wheelie bin and one lamp post outside my house - yet over the past 20+ years I have lived in Darlington I have suffered inflation plus increases for continued reducing services. The services provided for the masses of Darlington are a joke. There used to be a decent range of affordable educational night classes - not anymore, the streets used to be maintained - not anymore, grassed areas and bushed/tree areas used to be cut/maintained - not anymore! Get the theme? More charges yet less services - but always someone else's fault! Why does everything that Darlington Council offer that is supposed to be subsidised from my council tax cost me more than what I can get from a private supplier?? Example - the Dolphin Centre - I have just joined a private gym (better equipped) at a price of less than a third of the subsidised Dolphin Centre - why is that?? Add to that the lies we are told that we have one of the lowest council tax charges in the UK and you can perhaps understand frustration! DarloXman
  • Score: 5

5:48pm Wed 5 Mar 14

spragger says...

The North has been badly let down by Councils, it seems to attract the wrong sort of people to lead them
The North has been badly let down by Councils, it seems to attract the wrong sort of people to lead them spragger
  • Score: 2

5:49pm Wed 5 Mar 14

spragger says...

The North has been badly let down by Councils, it seems to attract the wrong sort of people to lead them
The North has been badly let down by Councils, it seems to attract the wrong sort of people to lead them spragger
  • Score: 2

6:04pm Wed 5 Mar 14

spragger says...

tpk wrote:
Get a house in a lower council tax band if you are struggling then.

In Darlington even a property in the lowest band is nearly £100 / month council tax.

I've been in work non stop since I was 18 on a low wage, never claimed or been entitled to any benefits & would NEVER vote labour. The last 4 years has seen my wage improve due to the tax band rises & council tax caps of the coalition.
Good points, missed by many, who cannot see it is much better to allow people to keep more of their own money

Anyone think a Labour Council, or Government for that matter, would spend YOUR money better than you?
[quote][p][bold]tpk[/bold] wrote: [quote]Get a house in a lower council tax band if you are struggling then.[/quote] In Darlington even a property in the lowest band is nearly £100 / month council tax. I've been in work non stop since I was 18 on a low wage, never claimed or been entitled to any benefits & would NEVER vote labour. The last 4 years has seen my wage improve due to the tax band rises & council tax caps of the coalition.[/p][/quote]Good points, missed by many, who cannot see it is much better to allow people to keep more of their own money Anyone think a Labour Council, or Government for that matter, would spend YOUR money better than you? spragger
  • Score: 3

8:33am Tue 25 Mar 14

Mr King says...

One local Labour cllr in Middlesbrough tried to tell me that accepting the CT freeze would cost Middlesbrough Council £17 million over five years. I did the maths for him. Turns out it's only 2 million / £400K per year. Middlesbrough Council could save that each year by halving the size of Mallons overpaid, over-bloated team of executives and their assistants. Then, after five years, they'd be saving the same amount (plus te cost of inflationary rises) EVERY YEAR.

Can't see it happening, though, can you?
One local Labour cllr in Middlesbrough tried to tell me that accepting the CT freeze would cost Middlesbrough Council £17 million over five years. I did the maths for him. Turns out it's only 2 million / £400K per year. Middlesbrough Council could save that each year by halving the size of Mallons overpaid, over-bloated team of executives and their assistants. Then, after five years, they'd be saving the same amount (plus te cost of inflationary rises) EVERY YEAR. Can't see it happening, though, can you? Mr King
  • Score: 0

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