The Greens on Brighton & Hove City Coucil have today proposed to hold a local referendum to seek an inflation-busting 4.75% increase in the city's Council Tax - a referendum that in itself would cost the city's hard-pressed, hard-working council tax payers nearly a quarter of a million pounds, money that could and should be better spent on the provision of council services.
This also from a council that already raises its council tax demands, despite refusing Government funding to freeze it, while failing to ensure Brighton's rubbish is collected from the streets.
· This is nothing but an irresponsible political stunt – a desperate last minute bid by the Green leadership to appease members of the Green Group who would have voted against their original Budget proposals. The Greens quite clearly don’t have the best interests of hard-working council taxpayers in mind.
· They know full well that residents will not go along with this if it comes down to a public referendum – 4.75% is more than double the rate of inflation and just cannot be justified.
· 4.75% would be the highest council tax increase in the country and would take us back to the bad old days of double-digit increases imposed on residents by the last City Council Labour Administration.
· The Conservatives have consistently opposed council tax rises and will continue to push for a freeze. The Government has offered councils extra money to enable them to freeze council tax and it is simply perverse of the Green Administration, backed last year by the Labour Group, to continue turning it down.