HOUSEHOLDS have been warned to brace for savage increases in council tax from tomorrow, as a freeze on the bills comes to an end.
Families are set to pay an extra & pound; 54 on average - the largest jump in the payment since 2008 found the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).
Councils look to hike payments by up to the maximum 399 per cent that is permitted, according to a survey by the professional accountancy body.
In the North East and South West households can expected to see bills take the largest jumps with increases of almost & pound; 60.
However, London homes are set to largely sheltered from increases, with councils in the the capital lifting bills by just & pound; 804 on average.
The Greater London Authority is genially less reliant on council tax, said the CIPFA and the mayor election is another factor keeping the bill rises lower than the rest of the country.
Across England council tax is set to increase by & pound; 181 in the next four years.
Each council makes its own decision on tax rises but in recent years the Government has encouraged a freeze on bills by offering a grant to compensate for the losses.
But this grant has been axed.
The CIPFA said the change marks a significant change in policy, and comes as the Treasury cracks down on Government spending.
Rob Whiteman, CIPFA chief executive said: "Councils have made by far the biggest efficiencies in the public sector and with the Government incentives over the last Parliament council tax has remained relatively static.
"But things have changed.
" Councils are effectively being encouraged by Government to raise council tax, which marks a contrast to its stance in previous years. "
It comes as the Government makes further moves of devolution for local councils.
Mr Whiteman added: "Over the next four years, Government will be making fundamental changes to how councils are funded, essentially withdrawing Whitehall grants by allowing councils to keep more local business rates.
"This is a very positive move for local democracy, but there must be clarity on the detail of the new system to show how relatively less well-resourced authorities will fare."