FOREST of Dean District Council will wait to decide how much to increase its council tax precept by next year following changes announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced last week that there will be more flexibility for local authorities to set their council tax rates.

Councils in England will be able to set tax rises of up to three per cent annually from April 2023, without the need for a referendum.

Additionally, councils with social care responsibilities, including Gloucestershire County Council, will be able to increase the adult social care precept by up to two per cent per year.

This could mean the portion of the council tax bill which goes to Shire Hall could rise to £1,523.86 a year for a band D property, an extra £72.50.

The expected increases come at a time when many are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Finance cabinet member Richard Leppington (The Progressive Independents, Bream) told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the council will have to wait to see what the financial settlement is going to be from the government before making a decision.

He said: “We won’t know until the week before Christmas.

“In terms of being able to increase council tax by three per cent well we are able to increase it by 1.99 per cent now or £5 whichever is greater.

“That won’t affect us but the social care increase will be something for the county.

“At this stage, we’ve only really had half the picture.”

Gloucestershire County Council declined to comment on the announced changes to council tax.