LGA: Council tax freeze short-term offer

Responding to the proposal to extend the council tax freeze, chairman of the Local Government Association Sir Merrick Cockell said:

Any help for councils is a good thing, but we have to be clear that this is a short-term offer. It doesn't address the huge long-term pressures councils are facing including bigger cuts than any other part of the public sector and an immediate and growing crisis in funding care for the elderly. Councils could now have to budget for a further future shortfall.It is only right that councils take a longer-term view on budget planning and that decisions on the level of council tax are made by councillors who will then rightly be held to account through the ballot box.

Councils care for the elderly, look after vulnerable children and collect the bins from our streets and in order to carry on doing this effectively local authorities need local discretion to consider the long-term interests of their residents before deciding if they will take up this Government offer.

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Cameron signals further cuts

The Conservative Party's annual conference opened in Birmingham today. David Cameron ruled out the 'mansion tax' saying this 'not going to happen.' He also signalled that additional benefit cuts would be necessary to fight the deficit.