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Council tax set to rise

By Bridgid Nzekwu

Updated on 24 January 2008

Council tax bills for the coming year will go up by an average of four per cent, according to the Local Government Association.

The LGA says the rise is necessary because councils are not getting enough money from the government.

At the moment council tax for the average family home in Band D is £1,321. A four per cent rise would bring that to £1,373 - an increase of almost £53.

It's more bad news for cash-strapped home-owners, but it could have been worse.

In October there were warnings of a five per cent increase, plus cuts in service. The government says it has been making a huge effort to keep council tax rises down - councils get 75 per cent of their money from the government, and 25 per cent from council tax.

So why is the government saying some councils should be able to cut bills? The government says that councils are not efficient enough.

The government has named Liverpool as the local authority which could give the biggest cut, claiming it could shave £101 off council tax bills.

It thinks Birmingham ought to be able to give a £92 discount, while Leeds could cut £65 from council tax bills. The councils are fuming about the suggestion. Norfolk coucil has pointed out that it exceeded efficiency targets set by government.

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