The Conservatives, while only having 1% to offer nurses, have pushed through an inflation busting 5.9% rise in Council Tax from April for residents in Daventry district and 5.3% for residents in South Northants. Coming with this extra Council Tax is no improvements to local services that under the Conservatives have suffered years of cuts.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Lisa Samiotis says: “Following the failures and repeated mismanagement by the Tories, a new council takes over in April. However, this budget continues down the well-trod Tory path of inadequate local services and now, higher taxes.
Liberal Democrats proposed a fully costed alternative budget that would have seen a lower rise in Council Tax, as well as being able to ring fence £1 million into climate emergency initiatives.
Liberal Democrats also strongly opposed the Conservatives’ plan to hike up allowances for councillors to £13,750 per year, with much higher amounts going to cabinet members. The considerable savings of lower allowances, supported by the Liberal Democrats, would have gone into providing activities for children and young people.”
Councillor Jonathan Harris says: “Councils have a legal duty to have a Council Tax Reduction Scheme. For residents in South Northamptonshire, the Conservatives’ budget means households experiencing financial hardship must now pay 20 percent of their Council Tax demand, an increase from the current 8 percent. This hits the very poorest in our community. The Tories had planned to raise this to 26 percent and only reduced the amount after pressure from the Liberal Democrats.
The Conservatives have dismissed the tax rises as no more than the ‘cost of a flat white coffee’. This ‘let them eat cake attitude’ shows how out of touch the Tories are. With so many families under financial pressure because of the pandemic, local people deserve better.”
Liberal Democrat Andrew Simpson explains: “In addition to the West Northamptonshire Council Tax rises, local taxes set by local parish and town councils, and the Council Tax set by the Northamptonshire Fire and Crime Commissioner may also rise.”