Over Half of Conservative County Councils Defy Government and Increase Tax
More than half of the counties controlled by the Conservative Party have opted to increase Council Tax, despite being told not to by the Secretary of State for Local Government, Eric Pickles. And they are putting up tax despite a scheme that pays them the equivalent of one percent if they freeze tax.
As Breitbart London reported last month around one third of councils have chosen to increase their tax. Today it has been revealed that this includes half of the counties controlled by the Conservatives.
Of the 22 Conservative Counties, 10 have put up local tax by 1.95 percent to 1.99 percent. They have fallen short of putting it up by 2 percent as this automatically triggers a local referendum on the increase.
Eric Pickles had previously branded the practice of increasing to just below two percent “democracy dodging”.
But the Counties have pressed ahead anyway, claiming that they are short of money. Perhaps more surprisingly, these increases do not attract the one percent from government, meaning that the financial benefit is only 0.95 – 0.99 percent.
Despite this set back the overall burden of Council Tax will fall across most of the country. Eric Pickles, said: “Under Labour, council tax bills more than doubled. But Conservatives in Government have been working to keep council tax down, giving hardworking people greater financial security.
“Thanks to our long-term economic plan, we have been able to give extra government funding to town halls to help freeze council tax, despite the need to pay off Labour’s deficit. This has cut bills by more than eleven per cent in real terms. People have more in their pocket, and are no longer facing the threat of soaring bills.
“Labour are the party of higher council tax. Their Labour-led Welsh Government has refused to freeze council tax, Labour want new taxes on family homes and Labour councils across the country charge more and deliver less.”
The move will raise questions as to the disconnect between local Conservative parties and councillors and the central planning from government departments and Conservative Party HQ.