MailOnline muddles up cost of a possible rise in council tax

15 November 2022
What was claimed

Households will face an average £100 hike in council tax per month if council tax rates increase by 5%.

Our verdict

This is not correct. The average band D council tax bill would increase by £98 per year, not per month, if rates increased by 5%. The average council tax bill per dwelling would increase by approximately £75 per year.

An article published by MailOnline reports that in the upcoming Autumn Statement the government may increase the amount by which councils in England can raise council tax rates from a total of 3% to a total of 5%.

It then claimed that if council tax rates were to increase by 5%, “Households will face an average £100 hike in council tax per month”.

However, the piece went on to say that “a 5 per cent rise on an average Band D bill of £1,966 would cost an extra £98 next year”.

After Full Fact got in touch about the error, the article was amended to remove the incorrect reference to a £100 increase per month, and a correction note was added.

According to government figures, the average band D council tax set by local authorities in England for the 2022/23 financial year will be £1,966. A 5% increase to this figure would amount to approximately £98 per year.

The “£100 hike” reported by the MailOnline would therefore be the annual total increase, not the monthly increase, on an average band D council tax bill. Monthly, this works out at just over £8.

It’s also worth noting that the average council tax per dwelling across all bands in England in 2022/23 is £1,493. A 5% increase to this figure would amount to approximately £75 per year.

These figures do not account for the £150 council tax rebate which has been given to households in bands A to D in England as part of the government’s cost of living support package.

Currently, councils with responsibility for adult social care can increase council tax rates by up to 3%, including a maximum of 1% for expenditure on adult social care and 2% on other expenditure. Any further increases must be approved through a referendum.

Image courtesy of nattanan23

We took a stand for good information.

As detailed in our fact check, MailOnline has corrected its article and added a footnote to clarify the change that has been made. 

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