Prime Minister says Wirral's Labour leadership should scrap plans for council tax hike (From Wirral Globe)
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Prime Minister says Wirral's Labour leadership should scrap plans for council tax hike
PRIME Minister David Cameron today told the Globe that Wirral Council should abandon proposals for a council tax hike this year.
The PM urged town hall chiefs instead to freeze the tax and look at other ways to pay for services.
Council leader Cllr Phil Davies said Mr Cameron was “out of touch with reality.”
Mr Cameron believes the Labour administration’s proposed 2% increase - accompanied by multi-million pound cuts across a wide-range of services - is unnecessary.
Speaking from Downing Street, the PM said he had Wirral's financial data in front of him: “If you look at the budget figures from 2010 to 2014, Government spending in Wirral has gone up and it should not be necessary to increase council tax or turn off the street lights.
“I would urge Wirral Council to freeze council tax and look at other ways.
“Are they copying measures introduced by some of the most efficient councils in England? Are they fully investigating shared services with other authorities?”
Councillor Davies said: “What nonsense.
“The fact is Wirral's central Government funding has been cut by 50% since 2010.
"That’s more than £100m over the last three years, and there’s a further £28m of cuts needed to balance the books for the next financial year.
“Mr Cameron is out of touch with reality. I would love him to come up here and spend a week finding out what life is really like for most people under his Government.
“We’re not making these cuts out of some sort of political devilment.
"Switching off street lights and all the other horrors have been done not because we wanted to, but because we have had to."
In an earlier interview with BBC Radio Merseyside, Mr Cameron said he was proud to be Prime Minister in a Government that supports deprived areas, and denied councils in southern England are getting a better deal than their northern counterparts.
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