Homeowners in the region are forking out more of their wages on council tax than in any other part of the UK, new research has found.

Families in the North East are saying goodbye to an average of 8.66% of their salaries on council tax bills, with the suggestion that people in the region are being hit harder than those in the wealthier areas.

The figures, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, looked at the average pay check pocketed across the region and compared it to the Band D rate of council tax in the same area, which is the average council tax level.

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It found that in Redcar and Cleveland homeowners face the sixth biggest council tax burden in the UK, with 9.93% of wages going on the bill. The council put taxes up by 3.99% earlier this year amid a squeeze on its finances.

In second place in our region was Hartlepool where council tax eats up 9.40% of average earnings.

The disparity in council tax burdens means that some residents are paying five times as much council tax relative to their salary compared to residents in other areas.

Here's how much council tax has risen on average in each of the last 10 years

The Northern Echo:

In London just 5.42% of wages on average go towards the local authority charge, compared to 8.66% here, and in Wandsworth that figure is just 2.16%.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers are struggling with the unsustainable burden of council tax.

“But far from falling on those with the broadest shoulders, it appears that the most hard pressed households are bearing the brunt of rising rates.

“The least local authorities can do is freeze council tax next year to give residents much needed breathing space.”

Councils across the North East have upped council tax bills in April.

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This year the average bill has topped £2,000 for the first time in history.

Back in April when the increases came into force Labour said the Government was effectively forcing councils to increase their charges by reducing central funding while giving them additional “flexibilities” to raise taxes locally.

But Conservative chairman Greg Hands said: “They could be charging lower council tax like the Conservatives but voters living in Labour areas are actually paying higher council tax.”

Here's how much of the average pay check goes on council tax where you are:

  • Redcar and Cleveland - 9.93%
  • Hartlepool - 9.4%
  • Gateshead - 9.32%
  • Northumberland - 9.12%
  • Stockton - 8.37%
  • South Tyneside - 8.33%
  • Darlington - 8.22%
  • Newcastle - 8.08%
  • Sunderland - 8.03%
  • North Tyneside - 7.82%

Figures were not provided for Durham or Middlesbrough.