A COUNCIL tax hike is on the cards at Thursday’s gloom-laden Budget, Jeremy Hunt suggested today.
The Chancellor appeared to confirm that Brits will be whacked under plans to let local authorities increase rates.
But he insisted that richer residents will bear the brunt of the sweeping tax rises set to be unleashed in a scramble to balance the books.
Brits pay more council tax depending on what band their home falls in – with A paying least and E the most.
Currently town halls are not allowed to increase council tax above 2.99 per cent – plus a one per cent social care levy – without holding a local referendum.
Mr Hunt is rumoured to be considering plans to let local bosses increase their takings to help pay for stretched services being squeezed by central government cuts.
Leaning into the speculation in the Commons today, he told MPs: “It is going to be a very difficult announcement on Thursday because we’re going to be asking everyone to contribute more.
“But we’re going to be asking people who have more to contribute even more, and that will be reflected in council tax and every other tax.”
The Government is also expected to:
- Freeze income tax thresholds, dragging millions more workers into paying higher rates
- Give eight million hard-up Brits hundreds of pounds in handouts
- Increase benefits and pensions by 10.1 per cent in line with inflation
- Unleash sweeping spending cuts in a scramble to balance the books
- Make the rich pay more by reducing the threshold for the top 45p rate of tax
Rishi Sunak has vowed to be “compassionate” in the Autumn Statement but acknowledged “tough” decisions will be made.
Stealth taxes will happen via freezes to income, VAT and inheritance thresholds to generate more cash for the Treasury.
But Mr Sunak is planning to give eight million hard-up Brits hundreds of pounds in handouts to cushion the blow of higher energy bills.
The PM is expected to announce another round of cost of living payments at Thursday’s Budget – putting the most vulnerable in line for a £1,100 boost.
Reviving the plan he cooked up as Chancellor last summer, benefit claimants will get £650, poor pensioners will get £300 and there will be another £150 disability payment.
Mr Sunak has vowed to protect the poorest as he prepares to strip back energy bill support and let heating costs rise.
A Government source said: “Rishi saw his cost of living plan work last time and so is sticking with it again”.
The new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is set to raise the National Living Wage to £10.40 as well as hiking pensions and benefits by 10.1 per cent with inflation.
But he will offset the handouts with sweeping spending cuts and tax rises to repair a £60billion black hole in the nation’s finances.
Mr Hunt is also expected to reduce the Energy Price Guarantee so the average family pays around £3,000 for bills – above the current £2,500 but less than Ofgem’s £4,000.
There will not be another £400 blanket payment for all Brits but the targeted support to the poorest will be rolled out again.
Last time the £650 payment was doled out in two separate instalments as part of people’s benefits.