Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:50 pm on 1st February 1995.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Frank Dobson Frank Dobson Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) 5:50 pm, 1st February 1995

I have never said anything in the House that I am not willing to repeat outside it. In commenting on Westminster city council in the House today, I have only repeated what I have said on television and on radio.

I may seem to have spent a lot of time discussing the Westminster city council, but the Government's treatment of it shows how unfair and party political is the system. Only four places in Britain—Hackney, Tower Hamlets, the Scilly Isles and the City of London—receive a higher proportion of Government support than Westminster. The rest of us get less so that Westminster can get more.

I shall give some examples of the reduction in council tax that would occur in other areas if those areas received the same level of external Government help as Westminster. The Camden council tax would be reduced by £261, the Croydon council tax would be reduced by £73, the Enfield tax would be reduced by £274 and the Bristol tax would be reduced by £258. That is nothing compared with many other councils. If they received the same level of external Government support as Westminster, council tax payers in Bury and Oldharn would not pay anything at all—they would get a refund every year. The same thing would apply in Redbridge, Plymouth, Dartmouth, Langbaurgh, Gloucester, Dover, Stockton-on-Tees, Southampton, Northampton, Carlisle, Watford and York. I do not understand how anyone could think that that is not a racket.