Finch-Saunders: True cost of Labour’s council tax ignorance

A freeze on council tax in Wales – refused by the Welsh Labour Government – would have cost significantly less than first thought.

That’s according to the Assembly’s own research department, which confirms that ‘the cost of reducing the county council element of Band D council tax back to 2011-12 levels in all local authorities in Wales, taking into account the increase in tax base between the two years, would be in the region of £21.3 million’.

The total amount of money made available to Wales as a result of a council tax freeze in England was 38.9 million pounds.

Labour declined the option to do the same in Wales, despite these figures plainly showing a further 17 million pounds would have been available for other measures, such as an economic stimulus package.

Welsh Conservatives believe a council tax freeze would put more money into the pockets of local people across Wales, giving them the option to spend as they see fit in their local communities or further afield.

Shadow Minister for Local Government, Janet Finch-Saunders AM, said:

“The Labour Government’s decision not to freeze council tax in Wales remains exceptionally puzzling. These figures make clear it could have been achieved, while still retaining additional funds for enterprise zones, capital investment in schools, and other important measures.

“A council tax freeze would relieve the burden on hard-pressed families and give them additional income to do with as they please. While families in England are afforded that choice, families in Wales have been unfairly overlooked.

“Labour has proved in the past that it cannot manage budgets or make the right decisions with the money available. This is further proof of that.

“Labour’s vision for Wales is timid and uninspiring. On Thursday, communities up and down the country have the chance to vote for a positive Welsh Conservative message and a clear vision for the future.”