Liberal Democrats challenge Labour to deliver Council Tax freeze

Haringey residents who have been hit hard by the financial crisis sweeping the country should be helped by Haringey Council say local Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrat Council group and Lynne Featherstone MP have demanded that Labour-run Haringey Council should freeze the Council Tax, with a 0% increase for 2009/10.

Liberal Democrats have launched a campaign for a Council Tax freeze this April to help hard-pressed residents, but are demanding that it is funded by cutting waste rather than front-line services. They are calling on Council Leader George Meehan to urgently investigate how Haringey Council can deliver financial help to residents and Cllr Robert Gorrie will lead a discussion on the financial crisis at the next Haringey Council meeting.

Haringey has the fifth highest Council Tax in London and the average bill has more than doubled within the last ten years.

Cllr Robert Gorrie, Haringey Liberal Democrat leader and Finance spokesperson, comments:

“Residents are really feeling the pinch. With the credit crunch beginning to effect everyone, it’s up to Haringey Council to give local people a break by making sure Council Tax doesn’t rise any higher.

“To ensure a freeze on Council Tax does not affect frontline services planning must start now. We are willing to work with Labour on these plans.

“Families struggling to make ends meet should not fund the results of this Labour Council’s financial disasters – £37 million lost in Icelandic banks, the failed management of Alexandra Palace or indeed Haringey Council’s £2.2 million publicity budget.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“Families are facing a prospect of a difficult winter. Rising mortgage bills, the fear of unemployment and high heating costs mean that the shockwaves of the financial crisis are being felt in households across Haringey.

“When the banks were in trouble, they got rescued. Millions of families who are finding themselves in trouble must be helped too.

“Haringey Council tax payers have to tighten their belts so it is only right that Haringey Council should do the same.”