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Tories hit out at Labour's budget plans
Conservatives on Bradford Council have criticised the Labour-run authority’s proposals to increase council tax by 1.99 per cent for 2013/14.
It follows two years of freezes, paid for by a Government grant, equivalent to a 2.5 per cent rise. But this year the same offer was reduced to the equivalent of a one per cent rise, with the added complication that a referendum must be held by any authority wanting to increase council tax by two per cent or more.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles MP has accused councils of “dodging democracy” by avoiding triggering the public vote, as they look to increase council tax by just under the threshold.
Councillor Glen Miller, leader of Bradford’s Conservative group said that if the Government offers a helping hand, it should be accepted, and accused Labour of stopping the residents of the district from having a referendum on the issue.
“It seems wrong to increase council tax by as much as the council is allowed to do, without having to hold a referendum, simply to raise £1 million,” said Coun Miller.
“While increasing the council tax by this amount will take £2.6m from the pockets of hard pressed local families, it will only provide the council with £1m more than if it did not increase the tax at all and instead accepted the government grant available to keep the tax the same as it is now.
“The Council will say that it is increasing the tax now as it needs the money in future years, but we all know that savings need to be made over the next few years, so why be anticipating spending more money?”