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STRAW DEFENDS LABOUR'S COUNCIL TAX FIGURES

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Shadow environment spokesman Jack Straw, speaking on Radio 4 TODAY, defended the Labour party's figure that the ave...
Shadow environment spokesman Jack Straw, speaking on Radio 4 TODAY, defended the Labour party's figure that the average Labour controlled council spends £40 a year less council tax than Conservative controlled councils.

Against the charge that they were not measuring like for like Band D figures, which showed Conservatives spend less, he said, whereas Liverpool had had its grants cut by £13.5 million this year, out of every £100 Westminster spent, only £4 came from council tax, all the rest came from central government.

'If every other borough got that level of grant from the government, their band D council tax would be what they charge at Westminster,' he said.

'Under the new social index which is supposed to recognise local need, Hove in Sussex is regarded as more deprived than Liverpool and Runnymede is regarded as more deprived than Wolverhmapton'.

He said winning Westminster would be a hard nut to crack, because the Labour party gained 80% of seats last time and having to retain that level this time would be challenging. END
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