Key quotations from an interview with Chairman of the Local Government Association Sir Simon Milton in today’s Times:
- "Average council tax bills are expected to rise by about 4.5 per cent to £1,380 in April, making a total increase of more than 100 per cent since Labour took office."
- "The rise would increase Band D bills by about £59 in 2008-09."
- "Local authorities have had low grant settlements across the board for next year, averaging 4 per cent, with shire councils and London boroughs faring the worst."
- "“There are now 50 per cent more Tory councils,” Sir Simon said. “If you have control of a council that has been Labour-led for 20 or 30 years, you will find there is a lot of scope to save money by doing things differently simply because there would have been ideological opposition to outsourcing,” he said. “If you remove that, you start finding opportunities.”"
- "Sir Simon, who intends to limit council tax rises in Westminster to 2 per cent, is not impressed by the Government’s repeated failure to address reforms in local government finance. But he believes that responsibility for setting business rates should gradually be returned to local councils."
More in The Times.