Councils that are planning to increase council tax without holding a local referendum have been slammed as ‘democracy dodgers’ by Conservative Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles.
Pickles said local authorities should ‘man up’ and ‘be straight with people’. Those planning on circumventing a local poll, by setting their tax increase just below the 2% threshold, could lose out on Whitehall funds next year, he warned.
‘Councils should stop treating residents with contempt,’ Pickles wrote in an article for the Daily Telegraph.
‘Democracy dodgers who try to creep in under the radar, putting up their stealth tax by 1.99% in a bid to avoid our 2% referendum threshold, need a reality check. We will take into consideration anybody cheating their taxpayers. Anybody using loopholes will lose out next year.’
He added that the ‘days of the kneejerk tax and spend hike’ were over. He praised councils that were either freezing or cutting their council tax, including West Sussex, Wolverhampton and Windsor & Maidenhead.
And what are our Local Authorities doing? Council Tax increases, in many cases to the limit, before a referendum needs to be called. Conservative run Local Authorities are Democracy Dodging.