Eric Pickles responds to the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:
This government has delivered significant decentralisation of power and finance to local communities. There is real scope to go further in England and do more. Localism should be about devolving power to the lowest appropriate level – down to councils, down to neighbourhoods and down to individuals. We need to join up different public services to deliver better services and do more for less.
However, we completely disagree with the report’s proposals to increase Council Tax. Revaluation and higher Council Tax bands would means soaring tax bills for hard-working people, as the 2005 Council Tax revaluation in Wales showed. Instead, this government is working to keep Council Tax down – our Council Tax freeze has cut bills by 11% in real terms since 2010, and further funding for a Council Tax freeze is available to councils next year too.