Since 2010, the Conservative-led Government’s Council Tax freeze budget has enabled Councils to reduce Council Tax by 11% on average – worth the equivalent of £1,075 to the average Band D taxpayer in comparison to the period between 1997 and 2010, when bills more than doubled. I welcome that the Government has announced further funding to help Councils to deliver Council Tax freezes, providing Councils with the equivalent of a 1% increase in their budget.
Many of my constituents will be aware that the previous administration at Amber Valley Borough Council took up this offer and froze Council Tax for five years. I am concerned that the new Labour administration will not continue to do so.
I really don’t think that just as we’re making progress with increasing wages and low inflation that now is the time to lump a higher Council Tax bill on households, especially when another freeze would be funded by central Government.
That’s why last week in Parliament I took the opportunity to call on the Government to join me in urging the Council to freeze it again.
Nigel Mills: I welcome the extra year’s funding for council tax freezes. Will the Minister join me in urging Amber Valley borough council, in its one year under Labour rule, to extend the five-year council tax freeze that operated when the Conservatives were in control?
Kris Hopkins MP (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; Keighley, Conservative): The public of Amber Valley will be watching what the Labour council does. We have given a significant amount of money, £5 billion, to enable councils to freeze their council tax for the past five years. I am sure that the public will make their decision in early May as a consequence of the choices that councils make.