Seven out of 10 Conservative councils are freezing or cutting Council Tax, compared to only half of Labour councils. In addition, almost two-thirds of Conservative Police and Crime Commissioners in England are freezing council tax, but no Labour Commissioners.
The difference in terms of national policy is also stark. Chris Williamson, Labour’s Shadow Local Government Minister, has attacked it as "nothing more than a gimmick" and asserting there is "a real problem with the council tax freeze… taking the grant would clearly create significant problems."
Lord Beecham, Labour’s Shadow Local Government Minister in the Lords, has also attacked it, saying:
"A freeze builds up financial trouble for the future."
He also says:
"It creates problems for local authorities because while the council tax is frozen, the base revenue budget is also in effect frozen."
The Band D Council Tax in the coming financial year is an average of £1,138 under Conservative councils. It is £1,206 under Labour and £1,237 under the Lib Dems.
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:
“Council tax more than doubled under Labour. But Conservatives in Government have worked to freeze council tax for three years, helping hard-working families and pensioners with their cost of living. Over the last three years, council tax bills have fallen by almost 10 per cent.
“Ed Miliband’s Labour Party opposes freezing council tax, which shows how Labour remain addicted to higher taxes, and are on the side of bureaucracy, wasteful spending and not
Regular readers will know that I have been critical of some Conservative councils for setting the Council Tax too high. So has Mr Pickles.
Yet the facts contradict anyone who says that having a Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem council makes no difference to the bill they have to pay.