Monday, 9 February 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP seeks reassurances from Government on council taxes

Local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock Stephen Metcalfe, has sought assurances from the Government over what plans there are to keep council tax down.

Stephen, rising to the floor of the House of Commons, addressing Secretary of State Eric Pickles, asked to hear: “What steps his Department has taken to freeze council tax charges since 2010-11.”

Secretary of State Eric Pickles replied: “Under the previous Administration, household budgets were severely squeezed as council tax more than doubled. By contrast, this Government have worked to freeze council tax. Across England, bills have fallen by 11% in real terms since 2010 thanks to our freeze.”

Stephen continued: “I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. Will he reassure the House that he will do everything he can to help councils keep taxes low, and will he confirm that he will reject Labour’s call for a tax on family homes in England that would fill Scotland’s coffers?”

The Secretary of State then replied: “I am very happy to confirm that we have no plans to introduce a family homes tax. The principal problem with the proposal is that, were it to be introduced, the amount raised from those in the top band would be inadequate, so people living in an ordinary home would wake up the day after the election and find themselves in a mansion.”

Stephen Metcalfe later commented: “I think it is important that my constituents are reassured that this Conservative Government is committed to keeping council taxes low.”

“As we saw under Labour, unfair council tax can be one of the hardest hitters for British families up and down the country.”

“That is why I am so pleased that we as Conservatives have continued to freeze council tax, so that family budgets are not overly squeezed, and that people’s hard earned pay packets go further.”