Can the Secretary of State confirm that a statement put out by his spokesman last night for the Local Government Chronicle is wrong? It states:
“For a local authority, a council tax referendum is triggered only if its basic amount of council tax increases by more than 3.5%”.
Will he confirm that the Localism Act, which he has just cited, mentions the “relevant” basic amount of council tax, which excludes levies? That means that local authorities with large levies are at a disadvantage in the system and are likely to face a referendum trigger amounting to significantly less than a 3.5% increase.