Where council tax increased the most

Ashford in Kent has seen the largest monetary increase in council tax over the past year, increasing by £145, analysis from Barrows and Forrester shows.

Other areas to have seen this cost climb by more than £100 include Runnymede, Woking, Elmbridge, Bedford, Croydon, St Albans, Reigate and Banstead, Broxbourne, Mole Valley, Craven, Guildford, Mid Devon, Rutland, East Cambridgeshire, Watford, Waverley and South Oxfordshire.

In terms of the percentage increase versus last year, Manchester (8.7%), Bedford (8.1%), Salford (8.1%), Croydon (7.8%), Hyndburn (7.6%), Broxbourne (7.4%), Islington (7.4%), Runnymede (7.4%), Haringey (7.2%) are the areas to have seen the largest increase in council tax costs.

The smallest yearly increases have been seen in South Somerset (1.3%), Eden (1.5%), and Bristol (1.8%).

James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, said: “It’s certainly shaping up to be a bleak year for many households with the increasing cost of living squeezing our finances on all sides, whether it be the price of petrol, our weekly food shop, energy prices or council tax.

“There’s a very strong chance we will also see mortgage costs continue to climb as the year goes on, while the cost of renting also looks set to increase and this will put further strain on those that are already cutting back to the extreme in order to get by.

“At the same time, wages have failed to keep pace and the Government has done little to help, with the most significant offering being a very marginal reduction in National Insurance which isn’t due to be implemented until July. For those really up against it, this meagre offering is likely to be far too little too late and we need to see more action being taken now to address this dire situation.”

At £1,493, the average household in England is now paying 4.5% more than they were last year – that’s an increase of £64.

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