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LOCAL ELECTIONS 2004: TORIES AND LABOUR UNITED IN SUPPORT OF UNFAIR COUNCIL TAX

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Commenting on the launches of the Conservative and Labour local ...
Commenting on the launches of the Conservative and Labour local

election campaigns today, Liberal Democrat local government

spokesman Edward Davey said:

'Voters will find it difficult to spot the difference between Labour and the

Conservatives on the key issue for this year's local election campaigns -

the future of the council tax.

'While Mr Howard and the Conservatives invented the unfair council tax,

Labour has made it even worse. Both parties strongly support the council

tax and have published no proposals to change it.

'Voters want to see council tax abolished and the Liberal Democrats are the

only party to spell out a fair alternative.'

Mr Davey also revealed new figures showing that, since 1999,

Conservative-run councils have seen the highest increases in council tax.

He added:

'Over the last five years, Liberal Democrat council tax rises have remained

much lower than the Tories.

'Despite huge extra grants to Labour areas, Liberal Democrats have matched

Labour council rises.'

Notes

Average council tax rises in England, Band D properties, by local

authorities with overall political control (see note below)

1999/ 2000 2000/ 2001 2001/ 2002 2002/ 2003

2003/ 2004 2004/ 2005 Average over 6 years

Lib Dem 5.0% 5.5% 6.3% 8.1% 10.1% 6.4% 6.9%

Labour 5.7% 6.1% 6.3% 7.3% 10.7% 4.9% 6.8%

Conservative 7.7% 5.3% 8.6% 9.3% 16.2% 6% 8.9%

Independent 10.1% 6.7% 5.6% 10.2% 11.0% 6.2% 8.3%

The figures up to 03/04 were calculated by ODPM. Figures for the other years

were calculated from ODPM figures.

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