WIRRAL councillors voted against asking the public's opinion on accepting Government cash to freeze council tax.
Tory leader Cllr Jeff Green put forward a notice of motion at Monday's full council meeting to hold a referendum over the issue of taking the money.
Although the ruling Labour administration have not yet confirmed the local authority's position on the £1.3m grant, Cllr Green believes a refusal would be a "slap in the face" to residents.
The money would allow Wirral Council to freeze council tax for two years but Labour believe it is merely a “short-term fix” and decided against the referendum.
Councillor Green said: "I cannot think of a better way of protecting those people that Labour have been speaking about than actually freezing council tax and therefore maintaining the amount of money in people's pockets.
"The Government has given that cash and it would be outrageous to send it back.
"I do hope that the Labour come to their senses and use this grant but if they don't, we believe the public should have the opportunity to vote in a referendum."
However Lib Dem Pensby and Thingwall Cllr Mark Johnston branded a possible referendum as a "PR stunt" which would cost too much money.
Labour leader Cllr Phil Davies the handout would not benefit the council in the long run and would lead to more cuts later on.
An amendment was agreed by Labour and Lib Dem councillors as it was resolved that no decision has been made yet and will be dealt with when the administration publishes its budget proposals.