British families are already fearful about expected soaring inflation during 2017, which is set to increase the price of goods and food. And now households have been told they could be hit in the pocket by huge increases to council tax.

Councils trying to fund the rising cost of social care are now looking at holding referendums on council tax, in a bid to increase past the cap of five per cent. Where Chancellor Philip Hammond lives, in Surrey, the council is looking at a 16 per cent increase in council tax, if voters give the plans the green light. That would add an extra £200 per year onto yearly bills for households.

Analysts believe that if Surrey gets the nod to increase by this much, other cash strapped councils will look to follow its lead. Lancashire Council Council is also believed to be thinking about holding a similar referendum.

Scrap foreign aid calls

However, the Government is now being urged to scrap its pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of Britain’s national income on foreign aid. Backbench MPs say they cannot understand why Britain is continuing to spend £12 billion annually overseas, while there is a social care crisis in the UK.

The threatened council tax hikes follow an announcement from Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, who said that he would raise the ceiling on council tax rises, meaning struggling households could be facing bill increases as councils try to fund social care. The new rules mean that councils can impose five per cent increases, as long as three per cent of that is ring fenced to fund adult social care. However, some councils are now trying to go above and beyond this cap.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesperson said under long term funding plans, local authorities would have nearly £200 billion to spend over the duration of the current Parliament. An extra £900 billion has also just been announced for social care.

 

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