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Surrey's Tory Councillors plan Council Tax bombshell for residents

December 22, 2016 11:10 AM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Tory Tax BombshellLiberal Democrat county councillors in Surrey have expressed their dismay at Conservative plans to hike council tax by a massive 16% in the county.

According to a report in the well respected Municipal Journal magazine, which covers local government issues, the county council is seriously considering a proposal to hold a county-wide referendum with the intention of raising council tax by 16%. Under the current rules, the county council can only raise the tax by an extra 4.99% a year, 3% of which is ring-fenced for adult social care, and must hold a referendum if it wishes to raise a larger amount.

Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrat councillors on Surrey County Council, said today:

"Liberal Democrat councillors on Surrey County Council oppose a proposal to increase the council tax above the threshold to trigger a referendum of Surrey residents.

Firstly, there is a national crisis in the funding of adult social care, which needs a long-term solution from the government not a temporary sticking plaster, which is what a large council tax rise would offer.

Secondly, a council tax increase would hit the elderly and those on fixed-incomes hardest - it would be quite wrong for the Conservative administration to try and shift this funding problem onto Surrey residents.

Rather than floating this ill-thought out proposal, the Conservative administration at county hall should concentrate on getting more funding for adult social care from the government and cutting its own wasteful spending. Surrey residents should not have to pick up the bill for the county council's financial mess".

The article in the Municipal Journal can be found here.