Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Reason 4 not to vote Conservative: Broken promise over Council Tax rises

At the 2010 General Election the Conservatives pledged to freeze Council Tax for 2 years. The Conservatives didn't win and in the coalition agreement this pledge was watered down to 1 year freeze with the possibility of a second year freeze if money could be found. Monet was found!

The County Council Conservatives ignored this pledge and went ahead with Council Tax rises for the County Council and two authorities they nominated councillors too. Namely the Police Authority and the Fire Authority. All three raised Council Tax contrary to the pledge the Conservatives made and contrary to the coalition agreement.

One reason why the County Conservatives took the decision to break the Conservative Party election pledge was they did a consultation. The following reason was stated as to why Council Tax was increased:

"That (statistically valid) consultation showed that there was appetite around the County for a small council tax rise - provided that the money was spent on residents' priorities; we have done this."

The choice was simple either freeze Council Tax, as per the Manifesto/Coalition agreement or say no to Government money and up the tax because of consultation said so. Of course the County Conservatives were only too willing to throw away their commitment to a Council Tax freeze and go on a spend, spend, spend policy.

I feel the Conservatives will rue the day they threw away this national pledge for a Council Tax freeze. If they do lose power it is because they lost support because they raised Council Tax when they should have frozen it. It is all well to do a consultation but the results shouldn't abrogate your pledge. The Conservatives now can't point at other parties and say they will raise Council Tax because they already have!

Reason 5 on not voting Conservative is a broken promise over a Council Tax freeze and therefore Council Tax rises which shouldn't have happened.

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