In The South

Greens angry at Labour ‘U-turn’ on council tax rise

Besi Besemar January 29, 2017

Greens question Labour leadership proposals to raise council tax by 5%.

Cllr Dick Page

At a full meeting of Brighton & Hove City Council on Thursday, January 26, questions were raised by the Green Group as to why the Labour Council leadership were seeking to introduce council tax rises they had previously opposed during the Green administration.

Responding to a question from Councillor Dick Page, Brighton & Hove Labour’s finance lead Cllr Les Hamilton could not explain why plans to ask residents for a 5% increase in their Council tax for the next financial year were being put forward, when the Labour Group had opposed a 3.5% rise proposed by the then Green administration during 2012/13.

Green Councillor Dick Page, said: “Labour’s budget includes a proposed 5% Council tax increase. If Labour had supported our smaller increase of 3.5% five years ago, the Council would now have £5m extra of funds annually to protect services to the City’s poor and vulnerable.  We know Council funds are shrinking year on year, while the Government spends our money elsewhere, expecting local people to shoulder more and more of the burden. It’s no good Labour councillors saying one thing when not running the Council, then the opposite now they are in charge. If we are to stand up together and halt the destruction of local services, we need more honesty and trust.”

Cllr Warren Morgan

Cllr Warren Morgan, the Labour Leader of the Council responded, saying:“The Greens have always seemed enthusiastic to pass on the costs of Tory cuts to those who can least afford it. Council tax is not a progressive tax; it hits high and low earners equally. Greens in Surrey recognise that and are opposing the 15% increase there. We have no option but to put up council tax on low-income households as directed by the Government to pay for rising social care costs, apparently with keen Green support.”