Council Tax freeze for two more years
In the Spending Review the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the funding for a Council Tax freeze would continue for another two years.
The Spending Round document says:
This settlement supports those local authorities who have kept council tax down since 2011-12 by continuing to provide for previous council tax freeze grants in their 2015-16 settlement. This is worth £833 million to local authorities. The Government will also make funding available in 2014-15 and 2015-16 for local authorities who choose to freeze their council tax, and plans to set the council tax referendum threshold at 2 per cent for 2014-15 and 2015-16.
George Osborne said:
Council tax freeze is due to come to an end next April.
I don’t want that to happen.
So I can tell you today, that because of the savings we’ve made, we can help families with their bills.
We will fund councils to freeze council tax for the next two years.
That’s nearly £100 pounds off the average council tax bill for families.
This bring savings for families to £600 pounds over this Parliament.
And it demonstrates our commitment to all those who want to work hard and get on.
So far as the cut in Government grant to council spending was concerned - of a further 10% meaning a further fall of 2% in "spending power" I was pleased the Chancellor stressed how well local government was adapting and that more freedom should be provided:
Local Government has already taken difficult decisions to reduce staff numbers, share services and make savings – and I want to pay tribute to Sir Merrick Cockell who has been instrumental in showing how they can do this.
We were told by the scaremongerers that savings in local government would decimate local services.
Instead, public satisfaction with local council services has gone up.
That’s because with our reforms, communities have more control over their own destiny.
That’s because we’ve devolved power and responsibility to manage budgets locally.
That’s because we’ve let councils benefit from the tax receipts that come when the local economy grows.
Today, we give more freedom – including greater flexibility over assets – and we will drive greater integration of local emergency services.
Among the other announcements was that 180 free schools will open in 2015. That compares with 102 due to open next year. In the 2015 General Election campaign will the Labour Party be campaigning to cancel any of those school openings?