England & Wales Press Releases

Councils demand tax freedom

The ‘overwhelming’ majority of local authorities want the freedom to increase council tax, research by the LGiU and The MJ has revealed.

The exclusive study revealed 80% of councils want to have control over setting council tax in 2014. Under current rules imposed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, councils need to seek a referendum to bring in council tax rises of above 2%.

Dr Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of the LGiU, commented:

“Councils are sending a very clear signal to Whitehall – localism must include the freedom to set local tax unfettered from the control of civil servants. The majority of councils, including Conservative ones, don’t want to put up tax at all for the foreseeable future – but they want to at least have the ability to do it without central government interfering.”




Notes for Editors

For more information and press enquiries, please contact Lizzie Greenhalgh at [email protected] or on 0207 554 2800.


Key findings from survey

The LGiU & The MJ surveyed council leaders, chief executives and chief finance officers from 130 English councils. 

  • Two thirds of councils surveyed wished to freeze council tax for 2013.
  • 70% of councils will not be looking to pool business rates with neighbouring authorities, despite benefiting from such a move in the new retention scheme from April this year.
  • 80% of councils believed the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) would offer no benefits next year
  • Less than 10% of councils plan to use Tax Increment Financing powers


About LGiU

The LGiU is an award winning think tank and membership organisation. Our mission is to strengthen local democracy to put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services.

Our team of policy experts and other staff provides practical policy advice, learning and development programmes, events and conferences, consultancy and other resources to our members and other organisations.


About The MJ

The MJ (Municipal Journal) is a weekly magazine for senior local government professionals and politicians.