The Liberal Democrat Group on Redcar & Cleveland Council is urging the Council’s Labour bosses to accept a freeze in Council Tax next year if it is offered.
This year Labour raised Council Tax by 3.5%, the highest in the country.
This came despite the Government’s offer of £1.4 million to the Council if it had frozen its council tax in 2012-13.
At the Conservative Party conference last week, the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, announced that councils which wish to increase Council Tax by more than 2% will have to hold a referendum.
He also announced that £450m would be available for councils to help offset the freeze, an amount equivalent to a 1% Council Tax increase for local authorities.
Councillor Glyn Nightingale said:
“Local people are facing higher bills, but few are receiving higher incomes. Council Tax is already an unfair tax and any attempt to increase it in Redcar & Cleveland would just magnify the unfairness.
“Labour didn’t accept the Council Tax Freeze last year but we hope that this year they will see sense. Labour Party bosses need to pay attention to peoples’ wishes and circumstances.
“Recent internal and external audits of the Council’s finances have revealed poor economic management – it is not acceptable to make working people pay for the Council’s financial incompetence.”