Monday, April 16, 2012

Liberal Democrat councils most likely to give lowest-paid workers a rise

Tim Farron writes to tell me that no Liberal Democrat-run council in England has raised its Council Tax:
While Labour and the Tories fight over how many of their councils raised Council Tax, it’s clear that with the Liberal Democrats your money is safest: no Liberal Democrat-run council in England has raised Council Tax. 
This stands in stark contrast to Tory and Labour-run councils which have been racking up the Council Tax in these difficult times. Ordinary working families are struggling already with paying bills, without their councils increasing the burden.
Yes, times are hard, but I find myself a little underwhelmed by this fact. The judgement on whether a council's tax level is the right one must surely be made by Liberal Democrat councillors locally. Eric Pickles' incentives to freeze your Council Tax complicate the picture, but they do not outweigh this central point.

Certainly, if we take over a rural authority from the Conservatives it is quite likely that Lib Dem councillors will decide that a tax rise is needed to improve services.

But Tim's letter does contain one unalloyed piece of good news:
Liberal Democrat councils have not only frozen council tax but are also most likely to be giving the lowest-paid council workers a pay rise.

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