Lib Dems accused of trying to conceal plans for bigger Council Tax rise

Liberal Democrat Councillors have been accused of trying to conceal plans for higher Council Tax rises on Bath & North East Somerset residents.

During the Council’s budget meeting on Tuesday 13th February, Lib Dem Councillors tabled proposals that would have seen Council Tax in B&NES rise by 5.65%, rather than the 4.95% proposed by the Council.

However, following the meeting Lib Dem Councillors issued a statement which failed to be upfront about the fact that over half a million of extra spending commitments would have to be paid for by higher taxes on local residents.

Councillor Paul Myers, Chair of Bath & North East Somerset Conservative Group, said:

“I think people will rightly ask why the Lib Dems are trying to conceal their plans for bigger increases in Council Tax.

“If the Lib Dems want higher taxes on residents then they should be upfront about this, not try and hide from it.

“It’s totally disingenuous for the Lib Dems to give the impression that extra spending doesn’t have to be paid for.  Residents won’t so easily have the wool pulled over the eyes. 

“And it’s not just higher Council Tax the Lib Dems want. They are also arguing for an increase on all rates of Income Tax as well.”

The Lib Dem proposals for a bigger Council Tax rise were backed by Labour Councillors, but ultimately defeated by Conservative Councillors. Neither Labour nor Liberal Democrat Councillors put forward any alternative ways in which the Council can save money and balance its budget.

Councillor Myers added:

“It’s no surprise that the highest Council Tax rises ever seen in B&NES were when the Lib Dems were in charge locally and Labour were in government nationally.

“Neither Labour nor Lib Dem councillors put forward any ideas for how the Council can save money and balance the books. Their only proposal was for higher taxes on residents, including those on the lowest pay, at a time when household budgets are already squeezed.

“It’s clear that Lib Dem and Labour Councillors offer no solutions to the challenges we face – only higher taxes on hard-working residents.”