In our part of Cheshire their are 4 precepting authorities - in other words bodies that are entitled to raise funds through the council tax. They are:
- Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC)
- Frodsham Town Council (FTC)
- Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire
- Cheshire Fire Authority.
Now I've concentrated on CWaC and FTC.
So what did my number crunching reveal:
Now council tax is typically quoted per Band D property. As my house is a Band E I've had to do a 'back calculation' to reach the Band D figures - so apologies in advance if these figures are slightly out. If you are interested the differences between the bands is all a question of ninths from the Band D figure. So Band D is 9/9, Band A is 6/9, B 7/9, C8/9 ... E 11/9, F 13/9, G 15/9, H 18/9. To get from Band E to Band D you divide by 1.22
In 2009-10 CWaC levied £1226.27 and FTC £31.98 - making a total for these two councils of £1,258.25.
Now I used this as the base figure - and then, courtesy of the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Consumer Price Index Inflation (CPI) figures for March of each year I worked out what the effect of inflation has been.
The CPI inflation figures are as follows:
March 10 +3.4%
March 11 +4.0%
March 12 +3.5%
March 13 +2.8%
When you do the maths you can find out that over the 4 years inflation has risen 14.42%.
So if CWaC and FTC had increased the council tax by inflation what would the combined Band D figure be? The answer is £1,439.69.
What is the current combined council tax? The answer is £1,307.84 - a real terms decrease in the council tax of £131.85 or -9.2%.
Now FTC offers everyone over 70 a £5 voucher - so a household with an older person or with an older couple benefits even more.
FTC's Council Tax in 2009-10 was £31.98 - so an over 70s couple is paying less now in cash terms to FTC then they did 5 years ago (£38.54-£10 = £28.54) ever before you think of the effect of inflation. The average Band D council tax for a parish council in England is £55!
In 2012-13 CWaC reduced its council tax by more than £8 per Band D property in Frodsham when they introduced the Special Expenses arrangements which levies charges on local communities for services provided to specific communities by CWaC. The figure for Frodsham is £0.
I will do what I can to resist any increase in the council tax by any authority this year. I have already proposed to FTC and FTC agreed that when setting the council tax for the 14-15 year it should not increase the current figure. So the real terms savings look set to continue.