Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown is calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to help hard pressed families and accept Government funding for a council tax freeze.
Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis has written a letter to all English Local Authority Leaders outlining the financial support that the Government will provide to Councils to enable them to freeze council tax and protect services.
The Minister confirmed that £450million of funding is being made available, comprising of £225million in both financial years 2013/14 and 2014/15.
Despite this offer Mr Kirby asserts that Brighton and Hove City Council’s Green administration appear set to reject the Government funding and hit the pockets of council tax payers with an increase of 2%. Last year the Greens had hoped for an even greater increase, but were forced to back down in the face of strong opposition.
“I welcome the news that the Government will, yet again, make money available for local authorities in England to allow them to freeze council tax. Under the Labour Government council tax more than doubled and became a real burden on hard pressed families.
“For that reason, I expect many councils to take the Government up on their generous offer and provide some relief to council tax payers in difficult economic times. Indeed, last week Conservative controlled East Sussex County Council agreed a budget that will freeze council tax for the third year in a row, whilst also providing huge capital investment in roads, schools, broadband and economic development. Lewes District Council, Peacehaven Town Council and Telescombe Town Council have all recognised the need to ease the pressure on household budgets and they will also be freezing council tax.
“I am pleased that some of my constituents will benefit from the action taken by these Conservative controlled councils in cooperation with the Government. However, I am keen for families in Brighton and Hove to get the same help. That is why I am backing Conservatives on Brighton and Hove City Council in calling for a council tax freeze and urging the Greens to accept the Government grant to enable this.”