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Monday, 6 February 2012

Calderdale Labour Leader slams Coalition over Council Tax

Calderdale Labour leader Tim Swift has slammed Conservative Government ministers for ‘making it up as they go along’ over plans for a Council Tax freeze.

Cllr Swift claims that the resulting uncertainty is putting local services under greater threat.

"At the end of last year, Chancellor George Osborne announced a grant to freeze Council tax for one year”, Cllr Swift explained.

"In Calderdale’s case, this means that the price of accepting the freeze is that services will face further cuts of two million pounds in future years.

"More recently, whilst under attack even from several of his own Tory Councils, Local Government minister Eric Pickles is now hinting that the grant might be available in future years.

"This is no way to help Councils make good financial decisions. We’re running Calderdale in a prudent way with three year budgets – that means we need clear information from the Government on their future plans.

"If the Government will agree to continue the freeze grant for a further two years, then it will reduce the savings we have to find in the future. That means some of the cuts they are forcing us to look at right now won’t be necessary.

"For the sake of council tax payers, and for the sake of the people who use our services, we need Eric Pickles and George Osborne to stop making it up as they go along, and come clean with the people of Calderdale”.

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