The average Band D household's council tax is set to face an increase of £103 as councils try to avoid financial distress.

Analysis has found that nearly all top-tier councils are looking to raise council tax by the maximum permitted amount.

Out of the 136 authorities which have declared their proposals, 128 (94%) are looking to increase bills in April by 4.99%, making it the biggest amount allowed by the Government without having to hold a local referendum.

The County Councils Network (CCN) said research at the same time last year showed 75% of councils intended to impose the maximum rise.

Adding that the rise in council tax is driven by the scale of the financial pressures authorities remain under, despite the Government’s recent emergency £600 million injection.

The Comet: Council Tax rises will hit many households.Council Tax rises will hit many households. (Image: PA)

Council tax to rise to the highest permitted amount 

As part of the Government’s recent emergency injection, CCN’s 37 councils received £240 million of the extra funding for 2024/25 but are planning in-year savings of more than £1 billion.

These councils, a mix of county and unitary authorities are said to be still facing a collective funding gap of £1.1 billion over the next two years.

Previously, four councils issued section 114 notices declaring effective bankruptcy as Birmingham, Woking, Slough and Thurrock all faced financial crises and have since been given special dispensation by the Government to raise council tax by 10%.

The proposed increases overall mean the average Band D household will face an increase of £103 over the year on average.

Some councils have agreed on the maximum increase but plan to introduce measures to mitigate the impact on residents, such as making support funding available to low-income households.

The CCN said councils in county areas get 67% of their funding from council tax, which is above the 56% average for all upper-tier councils with social care responsibilities.

For some county local authorities, up to 80% of their funding comes from council tax because they receive lower Government grants than other areas, the CCN added.

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'No council leader takes the decision to raise council tax lightly'

Some councils are said to be making savings by boosting preventative measures in children’s and adult social care, but this approach will take time to have an impact on finances.

Sam Corcoran, Labour leader of Cheshire East Council and CCN vice-chairman, said councils have to make “some of their toughest decisions” because of increased costs and spikes in demand for social care services.

Mr Corcoran added: “No council leader takes the decision to raise council tax lightly as we know this will add to the cost of living for residents, but councils have had little choice but to put up council tax due to the increased demands, particularly in children’s services."


The CCN has called on the next government to implement a “comprehensive” reform programme to drive down costs, including an overhaul of the legislative framework for school transport and action to reduce fees charged by private providers in the children’s social care market.

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson said: “We recognise councils are facing challenges and that is why we recently announced an additional £600 million support package for councils across England, increasing their overall funding for the upcoming financial year to £64.7 billion – a 7.5% increase in cash terms.

“Councils are responsible for their own finances and set council tax levels, but we have been clear they should be mindful of cost-of-living pressures. We continue to protect taxpayers from excessive council tax increases through referendum principles.”