New research from the House of Commons library has revealed that the majority of the UK’s steepest council tax rises come from Conservative-led councils, amounting to eight out of ten of the areas with the highest increases between 1997 and 2010.
Huntingdonshire, a Tory council, had the most significant increase at 537% while the lowest increase, also Conservative, was Wandsworth at 17%. Labour meanwhile, controls eight out of ten councils with the lowest rate of council tax. These figures are only taken from councils that were controlled by the same part through all 13 years between 1997 and 2010.
Discussing the findings, shadow environment secretary Hilary Benn said: “This authoritative, independent research shows that it was Tory councils who were putting up council tax the most during the last Labour government. Labour recognises we have a cost-of-living crisis and will work to reduce energy prices, keep rents down and keep council taxes down.”
Bob Neil, a former Tory local government minister, said: “Council tax bills more than doubled under Labour, but we are the party of low taxes. Year after year, the average Conservative B and D tax bill is lower than a Labour one.”
One thing is made clear from this new research – though Conservative controlled councils may be accountable for most of the highest council tax rises in the last decade, rates are rising all over the country. This has left vulnerable, low income families with debts that they are unable to resolve, with spiralling problems that invariably cause undue stress, worry and fear for hard working households unable to keep up with rising payments. Conservative, Labour or otherwise, too many families are struggling.
But help is always there for those in need, with Council Tax Advisors offering free help and advice for anyone struggling with council tax or worried about bailiff action should their debts get out of hand. Cuts to support for those low income families and rising fees have meant that more and more people have needed to seek advice from friendly and professional services such as CTA, and their unique position means that they have the knowledge of what it’s like to struggle under the pressure of mounting council tax arrears.
Whether it’s just for general advice about council tax or for more practical solutions such as setting up a repayment plan with your council, CTA are the best people to help. Contact us today to find out more.