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Labour warning of impact on communities in Lichfield and Burntwood as council tax rise is approved

Council tax increases will hit those in Lichfield and Burntwood who can least afford it, a Labour councillor has warned.

Lichfield District Council voted through plans for a 3.1% increase in its share of the bill, meaning owners of a typical band D property will pay an extra £5 per year.

The opposition Labour group voted against the rise, but the Conservative controlling group approved the move.

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

But Cllr Sue Woodward, leader of the opposition, said increases will have an impact on lives locally.

“The council tax increase hits those with modest incomes far harder than the better off,” she said. “It’s a regressive form of tax that takes no account whatsoever of income.

“At the same time as the Government force these increases in council tax across the whole country, they don’t give this level of cuts in national taxes such as Income Tax and VAT.”

Cllr Christopher Spruce had confirmed plans for the rise ahead of last night’s meeting of the full council, saying a reduction in the money received from central government meant funds needed to be raised locally.

Cllr Christopher Spruce

Cllr Christopher Spruce

He explained: “We are facing significant cuts in the funding we receive, which has previously helped us to deliver key local services.

“By 2019 we will no longer receive any core government funding and will need to be independently financially sustainable.”

But Cllr Woodward said the national programme of austerity being driven through by the Conservatives was starting to have a real impact on local communities.

“This isn’t a medium-term strategy,” she said. “It’s a short-term fix with lots of finger-crossing and wishful-thinking.

“More than 200 district councils like Lichfield have been made worse off because of this Government’s obsession with austerity and failure to tackle the social care funding crisis. Yet we remain the fifth or sixth richest nation in the world.

“I think some pennies were dropping tonight amongst backbench Tories, though some are still in denial and are even now delivering election leaflets saying ‘lower taxation coupled with better services’ – as if. They must think we’re fools.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

1 Comment

  1. John Griffin

    22nd February, 2017 at 10:25 am

    So is the sudden change in planning applications related to a New Homes Bonus source of income, or the interests of a few ‘connected’ business people and landowners, or both?