Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to freeze council tax rates in England for another year.
The freeze in 2013 will cost £800m and is estimated to save the average family up to £72 a year on top of the same sum saved last year.
The extra cash comes at a time of severe cuts for councils and is said to be coming from under-spent budgets across various government departments. The government has also announced an extra £250m to help councils reintroduce weekly bin collections.
Council tax freeze to help families
Originally, the Conservatives promised a two-year freeze on council tax in England in their general election manifesto, compromising to pledge at least a one-year stop on increases when they formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats.
Council tax was introduced in the UK in 1993 and replaced the old system of local rates. It is based on property values from April 1991 and assessed on the basis of property bands.
The average band D council tax – the most common category – remained static at an average of £1,439 a year in 2011-12.