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The Argus Council Tax Debate: Labour leader Warren Morgan responds
12:00pm Friday 7th February 2014 in News
Councillor Morgan hit out at the Greens for being out of touch with “ordinary workers” in proposing his party’s 2% rise in council tax.
He said: “Many are struggling with debt, some are using food banks and some are facing a choice between heating and eating. They just don't have £6 at the end of the month to spare.
“They can’t pay and I’m not prepared to make them pay for the cost of the Tory Government cuts.”
Taking a swipe at the Greens, he added: “Jason Kitcat may be able to afford a rise in council tax, Caroline Lucas may be able to afford it, but most people can’t.
“The Greens say £6 isn’t much, and that just shows how out of touch they are with ordinary workers.”
The Labour leader faced a tough time distancing himself from the Greens’ proposed rise while also steering clear of siding with the Tories’ freeze.
Defending his position, he said: “Even if the Greens’ proposed increase went ahead it would not stop the cuts.
“A 4.75% tax rise would only raise an extra £2 million against £23 million of Tory cuts.
“There will be another £25 million of cuts next year. People can’t afford to pay for the Tory cuts.
“So why don’t we support the Tory freeze? The Tory Government say they will give the council £1 million if they freeze tax.
“But they will still cut £23 million pounds from our funding.”
He also hit out at the Greens for taking a “27-year risk” by backing the controversial i360 development.
He said: “Why should the taxpayer, who doesn’t have any choice in the matter, be given that 27 year risk.
“It is too great a risk to take on.”
Buoyed by his Labour colleagues sitting in front of the stage, he said he would “fight” to get his party into government to reverse the cuts.
- The Argus Council Tax Debate: Green leader Jason Kitcat responds
- The Argus Council Tax Debate: Labour leader Warren Morgan responds
- The Argus Council Tax Debate: Conservative leader Geoffrey Theobald responds
- The Argus Council Tax Debate: Political columnist Tim Ridgway's view
- The Argus Council Tax Debate: The people have their say