Hard-pressed local residents across West Lindsey could benefit from lower council tax, under national plans which have been drawn up by Conservatives. Taxpayers in Scotland benefited from a council tax freeze this year, thanks to a deal struck between Scottish local authorities and the Scottish Executive. But those living south the border were not so lucky.
The new Conservative proposal involves a partnership with local councils, giving them extra support to deliver a council tax freeze in the first two years of a Conservative Government.
• If a council keeps its council tax bill rise to 2.5% or less, then central government will provide sufficient additional resources to fund a further, additional 2.5% reduction in council tax bills.
• Each council will be completely free to accept or reject this offer. Those that accept the offer will be able to give their taxpayers a complete freeze, or even reduction, for two years in a row.
• Across West Lindsey the value of a council tax freeze would be equivalent to saving £221 over the two years. Under Labour, council tax has soared by 116% over the last ten years, taking the average Band D bill to £1476
The cost to central government of reducing council tax would be funded from savings from cutting central spending on public sector consultants and advertising, and not from the overall local government budget. The Labour Government is now the second biggest advertiser in Britain, spending five times more than Tescos. It has also been slammed for the irresponsible and expensive use of consultancy firms, on top of civil servants.
Giles McNeill said:
“Under Labour, council tax has soared across the country, pushing up the cost of living. Families and pensioners facing the economic squeeze cannot afford yet more tax rises from Gordon Brown.
“The next Conservative Government will work with local councils to freeze council tax for at least two years.
“Instead of rising council tax bills year after year under Labour, millions of families will get help at the time they need it most. Conservatives will not leave people to struggle with the credit crunch on their own.”