THURROCK residents could potentially face massive council tax bills from April after the bankrupt council was given permission for rises above the usual legal limit.

The Government has given the authority the green to increase council tax by up to ten per cent without having to go to residents for a referendum.

In December Thurrock Council formally announced its £469million debt has left it unable to balance its books following a string of disastrous investments.


In November Chancellor Jeremy Hunt gave councils the right to raise council tax by five per cent without a referendum – up from 3.5 per cent.

But several cash-strapped authorities have since been given permission to go over that figure.

Croydon Council has been given permission for a 15 per cent after declaring itself bankrupt for the second time in three years in November.

Slough Council has also had a request approved to raise council tax by 10 per cent.

A government spokesman said: "Given the exceptional circumstance in these councils and unprecedented scale of financial deficits in each council, the government has agreed to the requests.

"In line with their requests, Thurrock and Slough will be able to raise council tax by an additional 5 per cent above referendum principles applied to other councils, and Croydon will be able to raise an additional 10 per cent."