Millions of families could be clobbered with sky-high council tax bills in weeks

Millions of families could be clobbered with sky-high council tax bills in April.

More than a quarter of districts are expected to hike the rates to £2,000 for those living in Band D houses.

The up to five per cent rise applies to homes in the bracket – which comprises of houses priced between £68,000 to £88,000.

But critics accused town halls of delivering a “kick in the teeth” to households already hit hardest by the pandemic.

The Government has given councils the ability to put up their bills by up to 5 per cent to meet the increasing costs of social care, while police authorities can add a further £15 to their share of the levy.

If local authorities raise charges by just 4 per cent – in line with the rise last year – a further 59 districts could ask for more than £2,000.

It would mean 95 districts – more than a quarter of the total – would have Band D bills above this level.

Harry Fone, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “These sky-high bills will feel like a kick in the teeth to taxpayers.

“The pandemic has destroyed many households’ finances – the last thing they need is an even bigger council tax bill.

“Local authorities must root out wasteful spending, make savings and stop these huge hikes.”

Shadow communities secretary Steve Reed said the Government has chosen to “clobber” hard-working families.

He said the hikes have come after the “Government’s own incompetence left the country facing the worst crisis of any major economy”.

A cap means no council in London is at risk of having charges above £2,000 in Band D this year.

That will leave residents in the capital facing lower bills than those in the North despite living in more expensive homes.

Robert Palmer, executive director of Tax Justice UK, said: ‘It’s shocking that a home owner in central London can pay less council tax than a family in the North of England.”

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