Unitary Councils: Council Tax

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 15th May 2008.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann PPS (Rt Hon Tessa Jowell, Minister of State), Cabinet Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effects of unitary local government arrangements on the local level of council tax.

Photo of John Healey John Healey Minister of State (Department of Communities and Local Government) (Local Government)

The level of council tax is a matter for individual local authorities. We have assessed, on the basis of councils' own estimates, that the new unitary local government arrangements that we are establishing, including the creation of nine new unitary councils, will allow in total savings of over £100 million annually to be realised. With such savings, the average equivalent annual reduction in band D council tax could be of the order of £90, although of course it is for each council to decide whether to use these savings on improving services or on reducing council tax.

Keeping council tax under control remains a priority for the Government and we will not hesitate to use our capping powers as necessary to protect council tax payers from excessive increases.

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