Labour forces vote to stop planned council tax hike

Labour will force a vote in the House of Commons demanding that the government reverse its plans to force councils to raise council tax by five per cent.

The move follows an appeal from Labour leader Keir Starmer to stop the council tax rise and provide certainty to millions of families who face additional blows to their incomes from frozen pay and a cut to Universal Credit. If the rise goes ahead, it would see council tax bills rise by £93 on average.

According to the Labour Party, it would mean that council tax will have risen by 33 per cent under the Conservatives. The opposition party claims that Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick had previously stated that councils would be funded to do ‘whatever it takes’ to support their communities during the pandemic but later backtracked and suggested councils should share the burden of their lost income.

Steve Reed, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said: “The Conservatives’ council tax rise will hit families right at the very time millions are worried about the future of their jobs and how they will get through the next few months.

“With Britain having experienced the worst recession of any major economy this is simply the wrong time for this tax rise. This Government should not be making families pay the price for their mishandling of the Covid crisis and their broken promises to support councils.

“The Prime Minister must cancel this hike. If he refuses, Conservative MPs will have the opportunity to vote with Labour to protect family incomes and secure our economy.”