The opposition group leader at Lichfield District Council has questioned the decision by the Conservatives to hike council tax bills.
Cllr Steve Norman made his comments after a meeting of the local authority which saw the budget for the coming year.
The figures included a 2.78% increase on Lichfield District Council’s share of the bill.
Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour opposition group said Lichfield and Burntwood residents would again pay a hefty price when council tax bills drop through the letterbox.
“This increase is an addition to the Conservatives at the county council increasing their tax by the maximum 4.99% and the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner demanding an increase of 5.99%.
“Lichfield District Council Conservatives have increased their share of the council tax to the maximum amount allowed by their Government for at least the last seven years.
“They did not have to, but they have and yet they never get criticised by the district’s Members of Parliament. Why? Because it is a Conservative council and their funding is decided by the Conservative Government, so, how could they?”Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council
Cllr Norman said cuts between 2009 and 2019 saw grants to local authorities fall by 38%.
“This is why council tax has increased by 21% in real terms.
“This means that the burden has been increased by a tax that stops at houses in council tax Band H properties – valued at £320,000 – and means those on lower bands pay disproportionately more.
“That is why Labour members could not vote for this budget – it is a budget which they only have a little control over as the Government continues to reduce funding and the future is uncertain with the possibility of councils losing the New Homes Bonus and losing funding in a review of business rates.
“Lichfield district’s MPs will again be hoping voters don’t realise that they support this situation each year and are happy to see councils being forced to merge to avoid going bust.”Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council