PM responds to minister's 'cheating' councils claims

Asked about Eric Pickles' accusation that English councils are "cheating" the taxpayer with planned rises in council tax, David Cameron's official spokesman said:

The Prime Minister's view is that the Government has provided funding to support a freeze in council tax and it is very good news that around one-third of authorities have already indicated that they will do that. Obviously, the final decision is up to the councils themselves.

The PM's view is that it is right to do whatever is possible, within current constraints, for families. That is why the Government has provided funding for another year of a council tax freeze. If councils want to go further, it is right that that (becomes) a matter for their electorate.

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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.