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Local Taxation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:50 pm on 4th July 2005.

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Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton Conservative, Guildford 5:50 pm, 4th July 2005

I could, but the fact remains that the local income tax would still be collected by central Government. Nothing local is going to happen on local income taxes.

Hon. Members talked about the various ways of raising money for local services. What is talked about less is what happens to the money when we have got it. That is my problem with the Government. The burden of red tape, regulation, the extra services and the hoops that local councils have to jump through increases yearly.

I defy anyone to find me a local government officer who would not say the same thing. Councils have to provide more and more, and jump through all the hoops, but they are not receiving the funding that should come with it. Local government is without doubt enormously complex, but the increased burden of regulation, red tape and all the things that councils have to do means that it is getting unbearable. Most local government officers feel that there is a tight rope around their waists.

I have campaigned yearly on the council tax increases in Guildford. I even took to the streets and marched from one end of my constituency to the other. It is a shame that people do not take to the streets more often. I did that because of the 92 per cent. increase in council tax for the people of Guildford. It is unbearable. It cannot go on, and they cannot go on paying for central Government regulations that are passed down, with the burden shouldered by local people.