Chancellor George Osborne has revealed how the government plans to freeze council tax for the third year in a row.

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But critics have said such a move will not help local councils struggling to find ways to avoid making cuts to vital services.

At the Conservative conference in Birmingham, Mr Osborne announced that, for the third year in a row, councils which freeze their share of the council tax will get a grant from the government in return.

Suffolk County Council has already announced there will be a tax freeze in it’s share and our reporters are asking other councils in the region what their intentions are, which will be revealed in tomorrow’s newspapers.

But local government chiefs have already raised concerns about the proposals, warning it is taking power away from councils.

Responding to the proposal to extend the council tax freeze, chairman of the Local Government Association Sir Merrick Cockell said: “Any help for councils is a good thing, but we have to be clear that this is a short-term offer. It doesn’t address the huge long-term pressures councils are facing including bigger cuts than any other part of the public sector and an immediate and growing crisis in funding care for the elderly. Councils could now have to budget for a further future shortfall.

“It is only right that councils take a longer-term view on budget planning and that decisions on the level of council tax are made by councillors who will then rightly be held to account through the ballot box.

“Councils care for the elderly, look after vulnerable children and collect the bins from our streets and in order to carry on doing this effectively local authorities need local discretion to consider the long-term interests of their residents before deciding if they will take up this government offer.”

• What do you think of the proposed council tax freeze? Take part in our poll and leave your comments below.

27 comments

  • John - bookworm's jealous he hasn't got one! Any comment by him, usual ends up so he can have a rant about it. It's his favourite topic!!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Why do people carp Osbourne has made a decision council tax frozen His guy is the main man Well done at least he is trying to sort out this ghastly we have been left with by Balls and company. Now lets get on wards and sort out the EU.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Daisy Roots, do you mean a poll tax thingy, which felled maggie?? At the time I couldn't fault it and all those of adult age living with parents or multi occupied homes learn to pay their way. The days of free loading have gone forever!!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • There are still opportunities for councils to save money. One way would be to make tenants more responisble for their houses and flats. All too often I see tenants leave, even after short periods of time, followed by an army of council contractors who have to put the accommodation back in good order before a new tenant can move in. It must be costing a small fortune.

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    BG

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • I would prefer to see my local schools properly funded than save a few quid on the Council tax.

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    Pushbiker

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • It okay freezing council tax if the services remain the same, but they don't they are rapidly going downhill affecting the lives of Norfolk people.

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    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Anyone know what happens when a district council has a large percentage of residents exempt from paying council tax? Does the government make the sums good with their contribution to local government spending or does some of the burden fall on those who do pay council tax? Seems to me that where I live residents get a bog standard service and all the district council spending goes on the run down town.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Poll: Do you want to see council tax in Norfolk and Suffolk frozen? >>> No. There should be a third one that reads: "do you want to see council tax reduced ?. After all some of it goes towards the useless councils pensions, to which they should be paying for, not us. Also NCc is sitting on god knows how many millions in reserve funds. Until this has been used up (not on their pensions) the the extortion tax should never go up, as it shows that it is too high in the first place.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • stop these' airy fairy' pie in the sky money wasting schemes like banning cars on St stephens.

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    biglingers

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • my first thought at 8am this morning was to reduce the tax. stop free bus passes for all and sundry.

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    bookworm

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • this is a short term offer what happens when it runs out and councils are forced to put up council tax by 20+ % to cover the shortfall of the grant ? its a massive tory con

    Report this comment

    townie

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Bookworm**** " my first thought at 8am " **** . So a complete blank till then ? What a wonderful thing the autonomic nervous system is for people like you.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • I would like to see council tax based on the number of adults living in a residence. Seems hardly fair that four wage earners can be living in a three bedroomed house and using all the council services and pay only 25% more than a single pensioner with a bit of savings living in an identical property.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Isn't this a bit like the problem with the country being in debt? We must live within our means. I think we pay enough so the City and County Councils must cut their cloth accordingly. Scrap these diversity festivals and the N&N arts festival - these cater to a minority. When the GLC had a festival for the peeps they hired proper bands not those poxy string quartets. Bleh!

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Is this system working?

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    lockers

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Multiple occupants of one dwelling paying only 25% in total more than a single occupant do use more services Chubster-there is more to council provision than bins and fire service-four people using library services, social services, footpaths,parks and gardens subsidised public transport etc have to be getting more for their contribution than one person or a couple. Single home owners and occupants also pay tax. Council tax is an unfair tax-it penalises saving and prudence by not being based on disposable income. The high earner who chooses to spend on cars holidays etc and live in a bedsit can contribute less than a low earning retired farmworker who has scrimped and saved to buy a home.As for poll tax and balance made up from central taxation-local council tax should make councils more accountable to voters, but as far as where I live goes, the council is hardly accountable to council tax payers as some wards have high numbers of voters-UK and EU nationals- who are eligible for council tax exemption and -they probably don't care how much money the council wastes. On the freeing up homes-anyone who has saved and bought a house has a right to live in it as long as they like-freeing up large homes is only relevant to the social housing sector which tax payers subsidise. The private sector has more than enough homes available, the problems potential house buyers are facing is down to lenders..

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

  • Duff survey. Where is the option to reduce? Neither option works for me. 1 I want to see that the council maintains and makes efficient services that are truly 'needed'. 2 get rid of the spending that supports people's lifestyle choices which I do not want to pay for. 3 Get what is left working efficiently, whether through outsourcing or getting house in order. That gets my vote. Anyone else?

    Report this comment

    lockers

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Save on Council Tax, only for the Councils to set a rent increase to make up the shortfall

    Report this comment

    chebram71

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • On the contrary Daisy Roots, I would like to see Council Tax go down for the house with 4 wage earners. They already pay tax through their earnings, and they don't get their bins emptied 4 times more than anyone else, nor is their house 4 times more likely to need the police or fire service to attend. Freeing up 3 bedroom houses for families and first time buyers is what will get the economy going again and solve the housing problem. On the issue of the poll, what a waste of time! I don't think anyone has an issue with how much they pay, they have an issue with what they pay for- if the services are good, and if the money goes to "core" services (which central government should decide what constitutes core) then we are all happy. Knowing that our Council wastes money on pointless jobs, and has £200 million surplus answers the poll.

    Report this comment

    Chubster

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Duff survey. Where is the option to reduce? Neither option works for me. 1 I want to see that the council maintains and makes efficient services that are truly 'needed'. 2 get rid of the spending that supports people's lifestyle choices which I do not want to pay for. 3 Get what is left working efficiently, whether through outsourcing or getting house in order. That gets my vote. Anyone else?

    Report this comment

    lockers

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • When the government money stops coming what happens then? Councils have factors like inflation to deal with and it inevitably means choices have to be made.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • The council needs to stop wasting money on poorly thought through, poorly planned ill conceived gimmicks and start prioritising. Sell off a few of those nice cars that council workers are driving around in, or not as most are sitting unused!

    Report this comment

    Crazy

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Why do people carp Osbourne has made a decision council tax frozen His guy is the main man Well done at least he is trying to sort out this ghastly we have been left with by Balls and company. Now lets get on wards and sort out the EU.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • They are obviously receiving enough income otherwise there wouldn't be £200m in a cash pot. They have cut for cut sake.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Duff survey: where is the option to reduce? Neither option works for me. 1) I want to see that the council maintains and makes efficient services that are truly 'needed'. 2) get rid of the spending that supports people's lifestyle choices which I do not want to pay for. 3) Get what is left working efficiently, whether through outsourcing or getting house in order. That gets my vote. Anyone else?

    Report this comment

    lockers

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • BG, Council tenants are responsible for the upkeep of their own homes and it is part of the tenancy agreement that you keep the interior and garden areas of your property in good repair, there are two problems with the system, 1, the actual enforcement of the agreement with those that don't follow the rules and 2, the actual system can also be wrong, I know council properties where the tenants have maintained their properties above and beyond the agreement with brand new fitted Kitchens (the council are responsible for fixtures) only for the good quality units etc to be torn out and replaced by lower quality units when the tenant leaves.

    Report this comment

    Focus1

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Why do you always go on about free bus passes Bookworm? If there weren't free bus passes and the pensioners ceased to use them as they do at present, there simply wouldn't be a bus service, it's all that keeps them going.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Monday, October 8, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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