Calderdale Labour’s Tim Swift has welcomed Labour leader Keir Starmer ‘s actions in calling on the Government ‘to put families first during lockdown’ by supporting parents and protecting household incomes. Labour’s demands include:-
- Backing local government and giving it the money it needs to prevent the council tax rise that they have told councils to introduce, which will cost the average Band D household an extra £91 a year.
- Stopping the planned cut in Universal Credit, which would mean an extra £1,000 in the pockets of six million families.
- Giving our key workers the pay rise they deserve, including our teachers, armed forces and care workers.
- Extending the ban on evictions and repossessions while the UK remains in lockdown.
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said,
“The Government must secure the economy to protect family incomes and protect business in Calderdale.
“While millions are worried about the future of their jobs and how they will make ends meet, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are forcing local government to hike up council tax. The Prime Minister said he would do “whatever is necessary” to support local authorities in providing vital services – he needs to make good on that promise.
“This government has got the wrong priorities for this country and for Calderdale. They gave Dominic Cummings a £40,000 pay rise but won’t pay our carers a decent wage. This is the Government that wasted £22 billion of taxpayers’ money on a testing system that doesn’t work but now won’t find the money to support families. And this is the Government that sprayed money on private contracts that didn’t deliver but won’t give councils the support they need.”
Labour council leader Tim Swift added,
“The Conservatives’ plan for Calderdale in 2021 is simple – pay more get less. They want a huge council tax rise that would see local families paying over £6 million more in Calderdale and they are forcing cuts to services because they have broken their promise to cover the cost of Covid-19.
“Families in Calderdale have been let down time and again by this government – it’s obvious what their priorities are, and it’s not us.”
Background information and sources:
- Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are hitting family budgets by “permitting” councils and Mayors to increase council tax by up to 5% next year.
- The Local Government Finance Settlement is the annual determination of funding to local government, and was announced to Parliament on Thursday 17th December. The settlement details the central funding provided to each local authority for 2021/22, and how much the government expects them to increase council tax, which councils will use to set their budgets for the year ahead.
- The Settlement indicates that core spending on local services has the potential to increase by £2.2 billion in 2021/22, an increase of 4.5 per cent.
But 85% of this rise comes from an expectation that councils put up council tax by up to 5% in April 2021. The government has announced that Calderdale Council’s Core Spending Power will increase by £7,951,867with £6,331,507 of this rise expected to come from increasing Council Tax.
- Local Authorities face a coronavirus funding gap of £7.4bn in 2020/21
At the end of October councils reported spending an extra £6.15bn due to covid-19, a figure which is likely to have increased since then. The same figures show councils expected income had fallen by £5.9bn over the same period, leaving a total cost of at least £12bn.
Source: Table 46 and 47 in round 7 here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-covid-19-financial-impact-monitoring-information