Labour and Lib Dem Councils in London have rebuffed a proposal that
would allow a freeze in Council tax bills. In his Party Conference
speech the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne announced a Council Tax
freeze for two years. The deal is that Councils who keep increases to
below the inflation rate will get extra funding from central
Government. If this meant annual increases of 2.5% instead of the 5%
currently predicted by the Treasury. The difference would save a
typical band D household over £200 – £70 in the first year, and £140
the year after. Osbourne would finance the extra help to Councils by
cutting central Government spending on consultants and advertising
saving £500m the first year, and £1bn in subsequent years.

In his speech Osborne said:

"The whole country is having
to tighten its belt and save money. So too should their government. In
the private sector when times are tough you take out the overheads.
The consultants are sent packing and the advertising budget is cut.
Government should do the same.

"We are going to put caps on Labour’s wasteful consultancy and
advertising bills. So that we can make this announcement to you, today.
The country may not be able to afford upfront tax cuts because
borrowing is too high. But families facing the squeeze cannot afford
tax rises either. We are going into partnership with local councils. If
they find matching savings in their town hall, we will give them these
savings from Whitehall.

"I can tell you today that the next Conservative Government will freeze
your Council Tax for at least two years. Every council tax bill of
every family in every council that takes part will be frozen. Instead
of council tax bills that rise year after year under Labour, millions
of families will get help at the time they need it most."

But a survey in today’s Evening Standard
names all the Labour and Lib Dem led Councils in London as refusing to
take part. The Evening Standard reporter suggests it will be a problem
for Osborne. Wrong. It will be a problem for those Labour and Lib Dem
Councils when we explain to their local electorates the stance they
have taken.

The roll of shame?

  • Islington (Lib Dem)
  • Kingston (Lib Dem)
  • Richmond (Lib Dem)
  • Southwark (Lib Dem)
  • Sutton (Lib Dem)
  • Brent (Lib Dem/ Tory)
  • Camden (Lib Dem/Tory)
  • Waltham Forest (Labour/Lib Dem)
  • Barking and Dagenham (Labour)
  • Hackney (Labour)
  • Haringey (Labour)
  • Greenwich (Labour)
  • Lambeth (Labour)
  • Lewisham (Labour)
  • Newham (Labour)
  • Tower Hamlets (Labour)

17 comments for: We must name and shame the LabLib councils that won’t co-operate with George Osborne’s council tax freeze

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