Politics

Sir Keir Starmer mocked for demanding council tax freeze – as Labour councils hike bills

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Council tax increases in England of up to 5 percent this April must not happen, he said, while calling for benefit cuts and a pay freeze for key workers. “We’re in the worst recession for 300 years. Yet the Prime Minister and the Chancellor want to hike council tax – a £1.9billion bombshell that lands a bill of around £90 on every family,” he said.

But his plea is in stark contrast to many Labour run councils across the country who are planning to increase council tax.

London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is considering hiking the Band D rate in the capital by up to 10 percent this year.

Liam Byrne, below, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of the West Midlands, has said he wanted to raise council tax by £34million in order to pay for young people to get free transport.

It follows council tax rises in the Greater Manchester region which is run by the Labour Mayor Andy Burnham.

Amanda Milling, the co-Chairman of the Conservative Party, said: “This is blind hypocrisy from Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.

“If Keir Starmer’s serious about calling for council tax cuts perhaps he could speak to his own Party who are hiking up council tax across the country.”

In his speech Sir Keir also called for tougher restrictions to be considered for tackling coronavirus.

He attacked the government for “having been found wanting at every turn”, accusing Boris Johnson of being “indecisive” and acting “too slow” over further lockdowns and support for business and families.

He said: “The British people will forgive many things. They know the pandemic is difficult.

“But they also know serial incompetence when they see it – and they know when a prime minister simply isn’t up to the job.”

But the Prime Minister’s official spokeswoman rejected the criticism, saying: “This government has shown it is prepared to act. When given evidence in the morning it has taken action that evening.”

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