The WLGA expects the average Council Tax increase for Councils across Wales for 2013-14 to be around 2.9%, meaning that Welsh households will continue to pay over £200 less per year for council services than English households. This prediction is based on a survey of councils across Wales, although not all councils have yet finalised their budgets and council tax increases for 2013-14.
Cllr Aaron Shotton (Flintshire), WLGA Finance Spokesperson welcomed this news, saying:
"Welsh councils are seeking to maintain their efforts to keep council tax rates down as low as possible, but it is inevitable that bills will rise given the current economic circumstances. Local government is experiencing unprecedented financial pressures due to the poor economic climate, real terms cuts to grant funding and UK Government reform of the Welfare state. Our focus is on getting the balance right for our citizens.”
WLGA Leader, Cllr Bob Wellington (Torfaen) added:
"Councils provide the services which support our communities and businesses in order to build a vibrant economy. They are responsible for frontline services which produce an educated workforce, maintain roads to provide good transport links, provide good quality housing for improved health, facilitate the sustainable disposal of waste and crucially, provide social care services to protect the most vulnerable in our society. Local council tax rates are directly related to local government’s ability to deliver front line services such as education and social care, and each and every council will need to set a council tax rate that enables them to run these vital local public services as effectively as possible.”
Notes to Editors:
Each total council tax bill is made up of three elements: the County or County Borough Council element; the Police element and the Community Council element.
All councils in Wales have to set their local council tax rate by 11 March 2013, and many are still in the process of consulting their local communities.
Please note the table below shows the latest proposals for the County or County Borough Council element only. The majority of these will be finalised over the next few weeks.
Council Tax increases 2013-14
Neath Port Talbot 3.87%
Vale of Glamorgan 4.80%
Rhondda Cynon Taff 3.95%
Merthyr Tydfil 3.20%
Blaenau Gwent 4.60%
Welsh Average 2.88%
A 2.88% increase equates to an additional charge of £27 over a year, or 52 pence per week.