Council tax 20% higher in north than in London

Council tax 20% higher in north than in London thumbnail

Council tax bills are 20% higher in the north of England than in London despite homes in the capital being three times more expensive.

Analysis by The Times has revealed huge regional variations in council tax.

The average band D bill in London this year is £1,696, compared to £2,060 in the north of England. 

The average house price in the capital is £553,000 and £192,000 in the north.

London and the southeast have eight of the ten cheapest council tax rates. The cheapest rate is in the borough of Westminster at only £866 per year.

The most expensive rate is in the East Midlands, at £2,300 a year, compared to £1,382 in Kensington and Chelsea, London’s richest borough. 

In Barking and Dagenham, London’s most deprived borough where 37.1 percent of residents suffer deprivation, the council tax rate is £1,785 a year.

One explanation for the disparity is that London councils have alternative ways to raise revenue. 

Westminster Council generates tens of millions of pounds a year from parking charges, and huge sums in business rates.

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Central government grants are intended to even out disparities but northern councils argue that they are being put at a disadvantage because the funding formulas used no longer take full account of the differences. 

The data, supplied by, shows that on average across the country council tax bills have increased by 31 per cent over the past six years, compared with 19 per cent for the rate of inflation.

In November the government announced that it would allow local authorities with responsibility for social care to raise council tax by up to 5 per cent, taking the average bill for band D homes above £2,000 for the first time.

MORE : How to check your Council Tax band – and how are they measured?

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