Penarth AM Andrew R T Davies has pledged that if the Conservatives gain control of the Welsh Assembly in next month’s election they will place a freeze on council tax across Wales.
The Conservatives say such a freeze would ” bring an end to 19 years of unfettered council tax rises overseen by several Labour governments in Wales, which means that since 1997 rates have risen by 178%.“
The party says Welsh families are now £794 worse-off than they were in 2011/12 – when the current Labour Welsh Labour Government was formed – making Wales “the most taxed nation in the UK on this measure”.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau says 6,000 households in Wales are now struggling to meet Council Tax bills . Now, the cost of paying Council Tax amounts takes away an average of 4.56% of the total income of Welsh workers . The comparable figure in Scotland is 3.88% of earned income.
The Welsh Labour Government is accused of “consistently refusing” to use £94,000,000 in consequential funding from the UK Government, following its decision to provide grants for council tax freezes in England.
The costs of the promised “Council Tax Freeze” would be met by offering local authorities in Wales what are being called “Council Tax Freeze Grants” , which – in total – would cost an estimated £16,000,000 to £17,000,000 a year.
Penarth AM and Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, said: “For 19 years, one inert Labour government after another have been sitting on their hands while the people of Wales suffer from crippling rises in their council tax bills. This has to stop.
Davies, who is the AM for South Wales Central – which includes Penarth added “Since 2011, the Welsh Conservatives have been calling for a council tax freeze, which if elected to government in May is exactly what we would do.
“The freeze would last an entire Assembly term, allowing people to keep more of the money they earn, helping to deliver financial security for hardworking families and offering a much-needed boost to local economies.”
“This move forms a key part of a Welsh Conservative vision to make Wales a low tax economy, bringing an end to the state of isolation in which it currently exists, as the only nation not to have benefited from millions of pounds of government money allocated to halt council tax rises.”