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Third year of Council tax freeze announced

Over the last two years the Government has provided grants of around £2billion to help freeze council tax. A freeze in council tax in 2013-14 would represent a real terms cut of around two per cent and a fall of nine per cent in real terms over the past three years.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:

"The Coalition Government’s council tax freeze has cut council tax in real terms over the last two years. A third-year’s freeze will mean the combined effect is potentially worth over £200 to Band D residents. Freezing bills again will really help hard working families and those on fixed incomes, such as pensioners with their cost of living."

The £450million will be made available, through a new grant scheme, to local authorities who decide to freeze or reduce their council tax next year. If they do, councils, police and fire authorities will stand to receive £225million of funding in both financial years 2013-14 and 2014-15, equivalent to raising their 2012-13 council tax by one per cent.

In addition, in 2013-14 the Government will propose to lower the local authority tax referendum threshold to two per cent. This would mean if a local authority seeks to raise its relevant basic amount of council tax by more than two per cent, local people would have the right to keep council tax bills down through a binding referendum veto. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will formally set out the detail on this in December.

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