Raising the council tax increase cap "beggars belief", says TaxPayers' Alliance

Responding to the announcement that the cap on council tax raising powers is to be lifted by 1 per cent, John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: 

"With wage growth stagnating and the cost of living on the rise, it beggars belief that politicians are asking for powers to take even more of people's hard-earned money. Council tax has already nearly doubled in the last decade so it isn't fair to ask residents to plug the gaps in their finances, especially when we know that council tax already hits the poorest hardest. Councils should instead continue to root out waste and scrap any item of spending that does not help provide an essential service."

On new powers for Police and Crime Commissioners to raise taxes for police budgets, he said: 

"In a dangerous world, it’s important that police and security forces have the resources they need but to think that the only way to fund them is through ever-higher taxes is wrong. If the government wishes to increase police budgets it should do so by reducing spending from elsewhere in the bloated Whitehall bureaucracy. In the meantime, police forces should ditch gimmicks like painting their fingernails for social media posts and instead prioritise protecting people from real harm."