From April, residents in England will be able to evenly spread out the annual costs of their council tax all year. Most councils currently make residents pay their council tax across ten months, in larger payments, to ensure they have all the money in before the end of the financial year.
The move to evenly spread the payments will lower the average B and D council tax payment by £24 per month, although the total amount paid annually will remain unchanged. Legislation passed by the Government will allow council taxpayers to make the request for 12 individual monthly payments, making it easier for households to budget.
Currently only some local authorities allow these requests, but in these cases families often have to prove financial hardship.
Council tax in England will be frozen for the third year in a row in 2014-15. Local authorities will also get £450million from the Government to help them with funding the freeze. They will also be able to charge an empty-homes premium on homes left vacant for two years or more.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said, “We know many people are worried about their cost of living expenses and we’ve already acted to freeze council tax in the past two years after bills.
“We have also changed the rules so hard-working council residents can choose to pay their annual bills online or spread payments over 12 monthly instead of ten. These sensible measures will make paying easier.”