Lib Dems slam Welsh Conservative leader over ‘keep council tax low’ campaign promise
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have lambasted the Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies over his claim that the Welsh Conservatives would “keep council tax low”.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said that the Tories’ record at Powys County Council, where the Conservatives hold the Finance Portfolio and govern the County in cooperation with Independents, was enough to show that their actions and words didn’t match.
In Powys, council tax has been raised by 30 per cent since 2017, despite a commitment by the party to keep it low in 2017. In Conservative-controlled Monmouthshire, council tax has also risen substantially since 2018, the Lib Dems said.
The Welsh Conservatives have said that fairer funding for councils by the Welsh Government would ensure that they can continue to offer better quality services.
Out on the campaign trail today in Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven and Talybont-on-Usk.
On May 5th, vote Welsh Conservative to keep council tax low. pic.twitter.com/aAQxx9LcoM
— Andrew RT Davies (@AndrewRTDavies) April 21, 2022
But Commenting Jane Dodds MS said: “Yet again we are seeing the same old false promises put out by the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives.
“Actions speak much louder than words and if Powys is anything to go by the Conservatives are a long way away from being the party of low council tax.
“An extortionate 30 per cent rise in five years has come on the back of cuts to services, poor road maintenance and a rural school’s closure programme.
“On a national level the Conservatives have raised taxes to their highest level since the 1940s. It is utterly ridiculous that Andrew RT Davies is trying to claim they are in favour of low taxes. The public won’t be taken for fools and can see the evidence for themselves.
“Not only are the Conservative’s tax rises harming those families subject to the cost-of-living crisis, but the national insurance rise is also a serious risk to small businesses who will have to pay out also. Small businesses are employers in Wales and have already had an awful time throughout the pandemic.
“Many parts of Wales need change in May, but the evidence before us shows that change will not come from the Conservatives.”
The Welsh Conservatives launched their own Wales-wide manifesto for the local elections last week, setting out what they said was a plan to deliver stronger and safer communities across Wales.
The manifesto focuses on the party’s plan to empower local people, create healthier and safer communities, tackle blights on our towns and enable local jobs for local people.
It also sets out plans to secure communities for the next generation and deliver fair funding for councils after years of underfunding by the Labour Government in Cardiff.
Key pledges in the manifesto include:
- Supporting communities to protect local services through a Community Ownership Fund, helping to buy facilities such as the local pub, shop or library.
- Ensuring investment in our roads and pavements to minimise potholes and hazardous pedestrian areas.
- Supporting businesses and communities to make local areas attractive for investment to create jobs for local people.
- Working with police and others to tackle anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, graffiti and dog mess.
- Ensuring closer working with social services and the NHS to protect the most vulnerable in society, giving them dignity and respect.
- Empowering communities to keep leisure facilities open to encourage physical and mental health.
- The manifesto launch comes just days after the Welsh Conservatives kicked off campaigning for the local government elections at an event in Llandudno.
Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies MS said: “Households across Wales – and the rest of the world – are feeling the financial squeeze as the cost-of-living continues to rise thanks to issues such as the rising global demand for energy, Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine and the pandemic.
“The UK Conservative Government has been quick to act in helping families by increasing the Living Wage, slashing fuel duty, raising the National Insurance threshold and giving residents £150 to help pay their bills.
“Welsh Conservative-controlled local authorities will also work hard to keep money in people’s back pockets by keeping council tax low and ensuring value for money for taxpayers when it comes to council services.
“Under Labour, Welsh workers are being short-changed with their pay packets more than £3,000 lighter than their Scottish counterparts and businesses are punished with the highest business rates in Great Britain.
“It is clear Labour cannot be trusted to help hardworking families. Despite having several devolved powers to reduce the financial burden, they haven’t acted and are instead too focused on pointing the finger at the UK Government and pushing ahead with their £12 million per year plans to up the number of politicians in the Senedd.”
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