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Commenting in advance of the publication of the local government finance green paper, Nigel Waterson MP, shadow min...
Commenting in advance of the publication of the local government finance green paper, Nigel Waterson MP, shadow minister for local government, remarked:

'Labour have not listened to last week's taxpayers revolt. Not content with increasing taxes by£670 a year per family, Labour now want to levy new taxes on businesses and local taxpayers.

'Labour's plans for a supplementary business rate are nothing less than a stealth tax on hard-working businesses. Their idea of consulting 'specially formed business forums' over these new stealth taxes is a joke and these forums will not be properly representative of local businesses.

'Local residents are also facing new taxes to drive in city centres, new taxes to park at work and undoubtedly higher council taxes as a result of re-rating.

'This comprehensively destroys the myth of new Labour as a party of lower taxation and of business. Only the Conservatives will offer a low-tax and competent alternative to this out of touch, high-taxing government.'

Meanwhile, today's announcement of a new neighbourhood warden scheme across England and Wales was condemned by the Conservatives' for failing to address the real

issues facing people in urban areas.

Oliver Heald, shadow home office minister, said: 'This announcement completely fails to address the problems of rising crime and falling police numbers across the country.

'With nearly 3,000 fewer police officer's than at the last election people no longer feel safe in their communities. This will only be addressed by putting more uniformed police officer's on the streets and more criminals behind bars.

'Neighbourhood wardens are simply a ruse to disguise the utter failure of Labour's flagship policies such as anti-social behaviour orders and child curfew schemes.'

'I fear that today's announcement is nothing more than a PR exercise. The warden's will do little to tackle the wide-scale problem of disorder in our towns and cities. They are merely a sticking plaster being used to tend a gaping wound.'

Tim Loughton MP, shadow regeneration minister, remarked: 'The maintenance of law and order is at the heart of urban regeneration - but the public want and need real police officers, in real uniforms with real authority.'


1. The government announced an allocation of£7.5m of funding for neighbourhood wardens, the outcome of the first round of bids today.

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