Council tax bills could rise in Sussex after Government changes rules

Council tax bills in Sussex will be allowed to rise by a higher percentage than last year without authorities needing to consult residents, the Government has announced.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said the threshold for councils triggering a referendum would next year be set at three per cent, rather than the current two per cent.

Together with the three per cent social care precept, the change means top-tier authorities West Sussex and East Sussex county councils could increase residents’ annual bills by 5.99 per cent without seeking support.

A government statement said: “The Communities Secretary confirmed that the referendum threshold has been set in line with inflation, and so setting the core council tax referendum principles at three per cent.

“This change, combined with the additional flexibility on the adult social care precept confirmed last year, gives local authorities the independence they need to relieve pressure on local services, including adults and children’s social care, while also recognising that many households face their own pressures.”

The Taxpayers’ Alliance told the BBC bills could be allowed to rise by nearly twice the current rate of Consumer Price Index inflation.

“With wage growth stagnating and the cost of living on the rise, it beggars belief that politicians are asking for powers to take even more of people’s hard-earned money,” chief executive John O’Connell said.

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