Tax System: Fairness

Part of Treasury – in the House of Commons at on 6 February 2024.

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Photo of Clive Betts Clive Betts Chair, Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, Chair, Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, Chairman of the House of Commons Members' Fund

The Minister talks about tax cuts, but in April most households in this country will receive a 5% increase in their council tax. That is not because local councils have mismanaged their finances, but because after 13 years of austerity, the local government finance system is essentially broken and relies on a regressive and unfair council tax. Why in the autumn statement did the Chancellor freeze the budgets of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for the whole of the next Parliament, leading the Office for Budget Responsibility to forecast a further £13 billion rise in council tax? Does that not show that the Chancellor has no regard at all for councils and the services they provide, or is he simply deferring a problem that his Government has created for the next Government to sort out?