COUNCIL tax may increase by hundreds of pounds in England to keep every day services running at pre-pandemic levels, experts warn. 

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) under the current government spending plans, a rise of at least 3.6 per cent on council tax bills will be needed to keep services operational.

Researchers added this would likely be the minimum needed as councils across the country struggle to with funding pressures casued by Covid. 

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When asked, Wiltshire Council said it recognised the challenges ahead and was working on the new budget to keep high quality services. 

According to its latest financial report, the council faces a 2022/23 funding gap of around £40m.

And if not addressed, it is estimate the black hole will rise to £57.8m in 2023/24 and £71.1m by 2024/25.

Cabinet member for finance, Pauline Church said: “The council tax for 2022/23 will be set in the new year. 

“A report will be approved by cabinet in February and it will then be subject to scrutiny. Following this, it will be put before the Full Council in March before another period of scrutiny.

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“At this stage it’s too early to speculate or confirm what proposals will be put forward, particularly as the government’s spending review has yet to take place, and will inform the way forward.”

In 2021, the council rose tax by 4.99 per cent – including a 3 per cent social care levy – the maximum allowed before a local referendum is required.