Brighton and Hove Labour today said Sussex’s Tory Police Commissioner’s plans to put up Council Tax shows the failure of her Government’s policy of slashing funding for key local services while at the same time demanding a freeze in Council Tax year after year.
The Government is forcing cuts of £26 million on Sussex Police, meaning it cannot invest in services. Katy Bourne, Sussex’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has today suggested one of the options she is considering to tackle the shortfall is increasing the Council Tax precept by up to 3.6%, despite her election manifesto commitment to a Council Tax freeze just 18 months ago. An increase of 3.6% is the highest amount she can bring forward without requiring a local referendum and would add £5 a year to Band D taxpayers.
Councillor Warren Morgan, one of the two Labour councillors who sit on the Sussex Police and Crime Panel, said:
"This shows that the Conservative policy of imposing massive cuts on police, councils and local services whilst promising council tax freezes is unsustainable and unrealistic. Anything below an inflation linked rise is a cut in funding. Slashing millions from public service grants can't be covered by savings. The Tories, locally at least, are waking up to that, but residents hit by falling wages and rising bills will pay the price.”