‘Astronomical’ council tax rise should be subject to referendum – Tory MS
A Tory MS has called for a local referendum on an “astronomical” council tax rise which has been approved for his constituency.
On Tuesday, Denbighshire County Council gave the go ahead for a council tax increase of 9.34% – the highest percentage increase in north Wales relative to how much money it gets from the Welsh Government.
The Welsh Conservatives say proposed council tax increases in north Wales are “excessive” during a cost of living crises.
The Welsh Tory Senedd group is calling on the Welsh Government to implement a cap on council tax rises in Wales.
The cap would mean councils would have to hold a local referendum in order to raise council tax above a 5% threshold.
Wales’ finance minister Rebecca Evans has said councils will have to make “difficult decisions” despite council tax rises and increased budgets.
Shadow local government minister, Sam Rowlands has called for a review of the funding formula and urged councils to use reserves to keep council tax low.
Vale of Clwyd MS Gareth Davies, said: “This astronomical council tax rise approved by Denbighshire Country Council will be a punishment on hardworking people who are being used to balance the books of councils running deficits due to the Welsh Government’s out of date funding formula.
“Local Government has been devolved to Cardiff Bay since 1999 and it is the decision of the Welsh Government how much funding they provide to councils. They need to protect the Welsh people from tax hikes of the proportions we have seen this year.
“We need swift action from the Welsh Government to place a cap on council tax rises at 5% council tax rises of this magnitude are unacceptable and should be subject to a referendum.”
The Welsh Government was invited to comment.
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