Saturday, 14 November 2009

MP vows to cut council tax

MERIDEN MP Caroline Spelman said the Conservatives will fight to get council tax “back down to a reasonable level”.

She said Labour had got councils to charge residents for services on top of their yearly council tax bill.

In a blog she wrote: “What Labour Ministers don’t get is that most people think, quite reasonably, that their hefty council tax bills should cover the cost of services.

“That’s the reason councils are reluctant to press ahead with charging, and when they do it is because funding and direction from the centre leaves them with little option.”

The MP said the average family in England spends £1,190 over and above their council tax for services such as council-run car parks.

Mrs Spelman said the extra charges are “the latest mechanism Labour ministers are deploying to rinse more cash from the pockets of hard-pressed taxpayers”.

This year, the average band D property pays £1,292.82 to Tory-controlled Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and for police and fire services.

This was a 4.35 per cent increase on the previous year, an extra £53.91.

Labour is planning a re-evaluation which “will drive bills up further and it is going to make councils charge for more and more services” she claimed.

The council tax is based on the value of homes but these are still set at much lower 1991 levels. Revaluation was postponed in 2005 until after the next election.

Mrs Spelman wrote: “It’s clear people have simply had enough of paying more and getting less under Labour.

“The priority for a Conservative government is to get council tax back down to a reasonable level and safeguard the services people rightly expect from the town halls.”