Easington MP Grahame Morris has called on the Prime Minister to scrap a planned 5% council tax rise that will add £105 to annual household council tax bills for the average Band D home in County Durham after the House of Commons voted against the Government’s plans to make families pay for a £2 billion hole in council budgets.
The vote follows an appeal from Labour leader Keir Starmer to stop the council tax rise and provide certainty to millions of struggling families who face additional blows to their household incomes from frozen pay and a cut to Universal Credit.
Under the Government’s proposals, households living in Band D will face an average rise of over £90 next year under plans set out in the Comprehensive Spending Review. It means council tax will have risen by 33% under the Conservatives.
Durham County Council faces a funding gap because of income lost during the pandemic and the additional costs of keeping communities safe from covid-19.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said councils would be funded to do “whatever it takes” to support their communities but later backtracked and suggested councils should share the burden of their lost income.
Commenting Grahame Morris MP, said:
“This council tax rise will hit families right at the very time millions are worried about the future of their jobs and how they will get through the next few months.
“This Government should not be making families pay for their mishandling of the covid crisis and their broken promises to support councils.
“The Prime Minister must listen to the will of the House of Commons – live up to his promise and not force councils to raise council tax to protect vital services during this crisis.”