MILLIONS face inflation busting council tax hikes of up to £100 to cover town hall shortfalls, and face paying more for parking, burials, social care and other services.
An explosive council poll last night showed that 95 per cent of all local authorities in England plan huge bill rises this April.
The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) think tank added that a further 93 per cent also plan to “increase charging” to make ends meet.
This means council-provided services like waste collection, grass-cutting, meals on wheels and even planning will cost more to use.
The body claimed 8 in 10 councils fear they could follow Northamptonshire County Council in falling into serious financial difficulty.
Northants earlier this week confirmed it was banning all new spending and slashing services after running out of cash reserves.
LGiU chief Jonathan Carr-West last night said: “Councils are on the edge. They are for the most part holding services together.
“But they can only do this by raising council tax, increasing charging and draining their reserves.”
In December the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced that council tax could be pushed up by 6 per cent without the need for a local referendum.
Police and crime commissioners can also impose an extra levy of £12 per household, which means a potential rise of around £107 for a Band D property.
And those living in Band E homes face a jump of up to £129, and larger Band H houses could see hikes of as much as £203.
More than half of councils were set to reduce spending on parks and leisure, 40 per cent said there were likely to be cuts to adult social care, while 34 per cent singled out youth centres.
But the Taxpayers Alliance said further hikes were “unacceptable”.
John O’Connell, its chief exec, said: “Council Tax has increased by 60 per cent since 1998 and while local politicians complain that their budgets are under strain, they should remember that family budgets are as well.”
He added: “Council tax is a major burden on taxpayers and a huge contributor to the cost of loving.
“Local authorities should think twice before another round of painful tax hikes and instead step up a war on wasteful spending.”
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And Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said:“These findings should set alarm bells ringing for Ministers.
“After almost eight years of Tory cuts, councils are facing unprecedented pressures to balance their books.
“There’s now a widespread consensus, across the political divide, that how we fund local public services desperately needs reform, but the Government is refusing to listen to the warnings of Local Government leaders.”
Residents in Weymouth & Portland Borough Council pay the highest Band D council tax in England – £1,891. The lowest is in Westminster – £688.
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