Labour Would Freeze Council Tax This Year If It Was In Power, Keir Starmer Says
Labour would freeze council tax this year if it were in power, Keir Starmer has announced.
Launching the party’s local election campaign on Thursday, Labour’s leader will say the policy would be paid for by a “proper” windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies.
Millions of people face a tax hike from Saturday, as most local councils are expected to raise council tax by the new maximum amount.
Those with social care responsibilities can raise it by 5%, while others can put it up by 3%.
According to the County Councils Network, it means council tax bills are set to rise to £2,140 on average.
Speaking to Labour activists in Swindon, Starmer will also take aim at the Tories’ decision to hand a pension tax cut to the top 1% of earners.
He will say: “There is a choice on tax. A Tory choice – taxes up for working people, tax cuts for the 1%.
“Or a Labour choice. Where we cut business rates to save our high streets and where, if there was a Labour government, you could take that council tax rise you just got and rip it up.
“A Labour government would freeze your council tax this year - that’s our choice. A tax cut for the many, not just for the top 1%.
“So take this message to every doorstep in your community: Labour is the party of lower taxes for working people.”
Starmer will also claim that on average Labour-controlled councils charge £345 less than Conservative controlled councils.
Tory chairman Greg Hands said Labour’s announcement “isn’t worth the paper it’s written on”.
He said: “They have no plan to introduce this if elected. They’re taking the British people for fools.
“If Labour were serious about cutting council tax, Labour councils would be doing it now.”
The local elections on May 4 will be a key test of Starmer and Rishi Sunak ahead of the general election, which is due in 2024.
Labour currently holds a comfortable poll lead over the Conservatives, and Starmer will want to make noticeable gains to build momentum.
Over 8,000 council seats are up for grabs along with control of 230 local councils across England.
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