Labour is the only main political party that has allocated more than enough money to councils to meet rising costs and demands.
That is the verdict of leading think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Its briefing shows that the Conservative claim to be a low-tax party is a lie – at least in relation to public services.
The money allocated by the Tories would not be enough to meet rising costs and demands over the next Parliament even if council tax were increased by four per cent every year, the briefing said.
This means either more service cuts or unfunded top-ups would be needed.
So the Tories are planning to make council services a postcode lottery, dependent on the amount of council tax that can be collected. Logically, only the richest areas would received the best services.
In contrast, Labour would provide more than enough to cover increasing costs and demands – even if council tax was frozen (although this is not being planned).
Funding would not be restored to 2010 levels – but Labour would also be providing more to councils via funding increases elsewhere in the system.
The Liberal Democrats are offering enough to fund services if council taxes rise by around two per cent a year across the board – but only if some of the money they are promising to bus services, youth services and the relief of homelessness is put to this purpose.
In This Writer’s home county of Powys, council tax increased by a massive 9.5 per cent in April, while the amount and quality of services in offer decreased. The council is run by an Independent-Conservative coalition, with a Conservative councillor responsible for finance.
Average wages here historically stand at around only 3/4 of the national average, meaning that the abnormally large increase in council tax set by the Conservatives has put many families under considerable stress.
So, in terms of council services, Labour is the logical choice in the general election.
Isn’t it interesting, then, that Labour is nowhere in the polls in either Brecon and Radnorshire or Montgomeryshire, the county’s Parliamentary constituencies?
Both are considered to be Tory/Lib Dem marginals.
So people here regularly vote for huge tax increases that provide few services.
Are they simply misinformed?
And what would they do, if they had the right information?
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