Debate Magazine

Tories Apply Common Sense to a Funding Issue...

Posted on the 28 January 2016 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

… but only for the little people in 'the regions':
HOMEOWNERS* living in flood-hit areas could be forced to pay higher council tax adding insult to injury to thousands of homes devastated this winter by rising waters…
Environment Secretary Liz Truss said Somerset, where local authorities have been able to increase taxes 1.25 per cent to bolster defences, is a "very good" model" in evidence to MPs.
In total, six authorities are allowed to bump up council tax by 1.25 per cent above the cap of two per cent in 2016-17. But now it looks as though the scheme could be rolled out further.
When asked by MPs, Ms Truss said: "I think if you look at the structure for the Somerset Rivers Authority that now has the shadow precept so they are raising that funding locally and I think there's also a role for that as well. I think the Somerset Rivers Authority is a very good model."
… But Labour peer Lord Clark of Windermere said: "Flood defences are primarily a national responsibility and the Government shouldn't just pass the buck on to local authorities and in turn to local taxpayers."

Obviously, if it were a question of flood defences for London and the Home Counties, the Tories would probably see it as a "national responsibility", but there you go.
* Tenants pay Council Tax too, you know?

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