I beg to move an amendment, to leave out from “House” to end and add:
“notes that council tax doubled under the last Labour Government, but has fallen in real terms in England since 2010; asserts that council budgets are a local decision for elected councillors and mayors, but local taxpayers are now protected from excessive council tax increases, a policy opposed by the LGA Labour Group;
disagrees with the Labour Party’s ‘Land for the Many’ proposals to hit hard-working families and pensioners with a new homes tax;
notes that the biggest increases in council tax have been under the Labour Government in Wales thanks to their council tax revaluation and lack of referendum protections;
welcomes the fact that Conservative councils set the lowest average Band D rates;
and further welcomes the additional government funding of over £30 billion provided by the Government to support councils during the Covid-19 pandemic.”.
The Labour party position on this most important question is so inconsistent and contradictory that it is difficult to know where to start, but let me give a few basic facts to the House. The Leader of the Opposition thinks councils should not be given limited flexibility to decide themselves, locally, to raise their council tax rate. Yet, as we have already heard from my hon. Friend Felicity Buchan, the Labour Mayor of London has decided to hike his share of council tax by 10%, while still finding the room to up his personal PR budget to £13 million, run by a £130,000-a-year spin doctor based in California. I am all in favour of working from home, but that really is quite a leap.