Osborne to extend council tax freeze

A council tax freeze in England will be extended to 2012-13 under plans to be unveiled at the Conservative Party conference by chancellor George Osborne.

The £805m move will be paid for by a Whitehall "underspend", aides said.

The government cannot force councils to freeze bills - but it is offering to give those which limit spending rises to 2.5 per cent the money they need.

Osborne will also tell the conference in Manchester that he remains determined to stick to the coalition's deficit reduction targets.