Labour’s Shadow Local Government Secretary Hilary Benn (above) says he wants to retain the Coalition’s cap on Council Tax bills. He made the statement in a visit yesterday to Garforth, Yorkshire.
Labour has already declared that they want to make furth cutbacks of £20 Billion in local government, over and above what has been cut back to date. Peculiarly, when introducing his Sefton Council budget last month, Labour leader Cllr Peter Dowd made no mention of either of these facts.
“These are difficult and challenging times for you, your fellow councillors and staff and above all for the communities you serve. Because of the financial circumstances the country faces you are being asked to do more with diminishing resources, and after the general election you are going to have to continue to manage with less central government funding.
Local government has faced the biggest cuts of any part of the public sector. The LGA says that over this Parliament, local government core funding will fall by 40% and councils will have to make £20 billion of savings. As a result, you are having to take very tough decisions about the future of local services at a time when there are rising pressures, particularly the growing number of older people and children’s services.
Labour is committed to balance the books in the next parliament so budgets will be extremely tight. We will need to make big reforms without big spending. And as we will inherit, and stick to, the Government’s spending plans for 2015/16, we will not have any more money to give to local government.”
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