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Councils 'cheating' over tax rise

The Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has attacked councils in England who are not holding referenda on council tax rises as "dodging democracy" and "cheating taxpayers." Ministers want those rising it above 2% to hold a public vote on it.

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Pickles' 'democracy dodging' loop hole claims attacked

Labour MP for Gateshead, Ian Mearns, has criticised Eric Pickles' accusation that English councils who raise a "stealth tax" by 1.99% in a bid to avoid the Government's 2% referendum threshold are "democracy dodgers".

In his article in The Daily Telegraph, Pickles warned "anybody using loop holes will lose out next year".

After his party colleague Jack Dromey condemned Mr Pickles' claims, Mr Mearns added:

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