By Jamie Stilgoe
David Cameron condemned Brighton and Hove City Council’s plan to increase next year’s Council tax at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 23rd November 2011.
Image Courtesy of Charlotte Vere
The Green administration rejected the coalition government’s offer to freeze council tax and is now proposing a 3.5% hike for 2012/13 instead.
Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, Simon Kirby asked the PM if he was “astounded” by the Council’s stance.
Mr Cameron responded,
“If they want the money for the council tax freeze… the money is there.
“But if they reject it, as they plan to do in Brighton, I think that’s a huge mistake because they will be asking families in Brighton to pay more at time they should be on their side.”
The decision to reject the tax freeze means that Brighton and Hove will not benefit from a £3 million incentive from the government.
As a result Brighton and Hove City Councillor Jason KitKat has been named the Taxpayers’ Alliance’s “Pinhead of the Month.”
Councillor KitKat said “We think the council tax freeze is a short-term gimmick that will cost the council and taxpayers more in the long run.
“If we accepted it would end up costing the council £4.2m over two years.
“We recognise that the council tax is an imperfect system, but we believe the people in Brighton and Hove value and prioritise public services.”
The Green Party-led council will vote on the tax rise in February but the proposed budget will be unveiled at Hove Town Hall on Thursday (today).
The tax freeze was adopted across the country last year meaning that average Band D bill remained at £1,439.
It is estimated that the freeze in council tax would save an average Band D resident an estimated £72 next year.
Research by the Local Government Chronicle suggests 4% of councils have already decided against a freeze with a further 16% still considering it.