Published:

A warning from Housing Minister Grant Shapps on the Radio 4 Today programme to councils turning down the offer of funding for a Council Tax freeze this year because they thought it would make it easier for them to dodge a referendum next year.

Of future grant levels he said:

When we transient to the new system we will have to decide which base level to use. We are not impressed with areas that have deliberately rejected money to freeze Council Tax and they may well not be rewarded for having done so.

On the same "package" was the Conservative leader of Surrey County Council Cllr David Hodge who tried to justify a Council tax increase saying:

We have got a 25% increase in the birth rate over the last eight or nine years so we are having to spend an extra quarter of a billion on extra school places.

But this comes from the Dedicated Schools Grant and capital funding from the Department of Education. This has nothing to do with the Council Tax which goes into the General Fund and doesn't cover the cost of school places.

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