COUNCIL tax in Salisbury could be set to soar by £100 a year without the need for a referendum.

Central government announced this week that it would be relaxing caps on council tax increases to allow cash-strapped local authorities to raise more money for social care.

Similar caps for police forces will also be relaxed in April, a move welcomed by Wiltshire’s police and crime commissioner.

Currently local authorities must hold a referendum if they want to raise council tax by more than five per cent.

But from April this will rise to six per cent - half of which will be earmarked for adult social care.

It means average properties in Wiltshire could face an increase of up to £80 a year for Wiltshire Council services - from £1,335 in 2017 to £1,415 in 2018.

Only last year, the maximum limit for council tax increases rose from 2 to 5 per cent - with the extra 3 per cent ringfenced for adult social care.

And earlier this week the Home Office announced it would be lifting the 2 per cent increase cap on the policing part of the council tax bill.

Previously Wiltshire police and crime commissioner Angus Macpherson was limited to a rise of £3.24 per band D household, but in 2018 he will be able to raise the amount by £12.

This year, band D properties in Wiltshire paid £170 towards policing services. This could rise to £182.

Mr Macpherson said he welcomed the announcement and that residents had agreed more resources were needed to ensure the safety of the county.

Wiltshire Police had been facing cuts of £3million which would have reduced policing, but the £1 a month increase could mean current service levels can be maintained.

Mr Macpherson added: “I think most people would be prepared to pay an extra £1 a month. This could bridge the gap in funding and give us the chance to ensure that Wiltshire Police continues to perform well.”

And the payment for city council and fire services could be set to increase too.

In April Salisbury City Council increased its average precept by £18 per year, but warned that the low level of increase meant a higher rise was likely in 2018.