Commenting on the news that Labour are continuing to push for a freeze in council tax in England, despite Labour not doing the same here in Wales, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Local Government, Sam Rowlands MS said:
“Welsh Conservatives would normally welcome these calls but when given the chance the Labour Government in Wales voted against our proposals to keep council tax low.
“Two of the highest rises in council tax in Wales came from Labour-run Newport and Caerphilly councils putting nearly 8% extra on bills for this year. Labour might say something nationally, but in Wales and locally they do the very opposite.
“This hypocrisy is the reason why Labour cannot be trusted to deliver low taxes. When council reserves sit at nearly £2.5 billion, these should be used to keep bills down.”
Welsh Conservatives have long campaigned for the Labour Government to improve local government funding to enable councils to freeze council tax, whilst protecting services. Since the start of devolution, council tax has increased by nearly 200%, adding £900 to the average household bill, whilst pay packets have only gone up by 78%.
There is a stark divide within Labour. Contrary to Keir Starmer’s policy, Labour Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans MS, speaking in the Senedd, said: “We don't impose blanket limits or require costly local referenda. The flexibility to set their budgets and determine council tax levels to respond to local priorities is a really important feature of local democracy.”