Council tax payers will be able to pay over 12 months instead of ten to ease burden for residents

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Council tax payers will now have 12 months to pay their bills after new rules brought in by the Government.

From April this year, South Holland District Council residents can choose to spread their annual payments across the year instead of over 10 months.

The national rule change has been brought in to make it easier for people to budget their monthly outgoings.

It is estimated the move will lower average band D council tax instalments by an average of £24 per month for 10 months.

Ministers are also urging councils to follow the example of utility companies in offering discounts to customers who pay online or through direct debit facilities.

Communities 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 doubled under the last administration.

“We have now offered councils a third freeze deal, which could have a combined effect potentially worth more than £200 to band D residents.”

District councillor Roger Gambba-Jones said any changes that helped residents should be welcomed but many tax payers preferred paying over 10 months.

He said: “Some people liked having a couple of months in the year when they didn’t have to pay any council tax.

“It’s meant a couple of hundred pounds to help pay the winter bills.”