Government encourages councils to freeze tax

Lib Dems call for a council tax freezeLynne Featherstone MP today welcomed a Government announcement, which encourages local councils to freeze Council Tax next year. Local authorities who freeze their Council tax will be given an extra £450million in Government funding.

Last year, Haringey Council’s financial reports revealed that Labour was considering a tax rise of 2.5%, despite being offered funding from Government to halt a rise. Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone and the Haringey Liberal Democrats called on Labour-run Haringey to freeze Council Tax, and were successful in preventing a rise.

This is the third year in a row that the Coalition Government has enabled councils to freeze their Council Tax by offering them enough money to cover the cost.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“All Liberal Democrat-run councils decided to freeze or reduce council tax this year, helping families keep bills low in difficult times. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives can say the same.

“Following the Government announcement, I am taking the opportunity to renew my call for a Council Tax freeze in Haringey.”

Revealed – Labour’s £1.2million slush fund

Documents revealed last week show how Labour councillors propose to spend over one million pounds next year on creating a fund which has no agreed plan or purpose and has the name of the party’s election manifesto.

Local Liberal Democrats have branded the £1.2million ‘One Borough, One Future fund’ a Labour slush fund which is aimed to promote political aims and pay for Labour pet projects.

Cllr Paul Strang, Haringey Liberal Democrat Resources Spokesperson, comments:

“I’m appalled that Labour have decided to take £1.2million of public money, that could be spent on front-line services, out of the Council’s budget to spend on their pet projects when, in their own words, public services are facing unprecedented reductions in spending.

“You don’t call a fund after the title of your political manifesto if it isn’t going to be spent on politically motivated projects. The fact Labour have no plans as to how this money can be spent shows they haven’t learnt from their years of wasteful spending.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“Labour has cut treasured front-line services, but feel its right to spend £1.2million on yet to be defined projects. That is frankly outrageous.

“The local community should have a say on how this money should be spent or it should be reinvested in the services that Labour has decided to cut.”