Liberal Democrats in Lambeth are threatening hard-pressed local families with yet more massive council tax hikes just like the last time they were in charge at the town hall. The news has been met with outrage from people already struggling with rising prices for heating, lighting and food as the worldwide credit crunch bites.
Earlier this year, energy companies in Britain announced massive increases in the cost of gas and electricity as world fuel prices soared. Now, those costs are about to hit tenants in Lambeth as the Labour Council’s fixed-price deal with the energy suppliers comes to an end. Labour is demanding more help from the energy companies to aid poorer households who will be worst affected by price increases that could be as high as 160% for estates with communal heating.
But the Lib Dems continue to attack those who can least afford it. At a time when families are cash-strapped the Lib Dems want to force their council tax up even higher to support town-hall spending when what is really needed is new ways to help people pay for higher bills.
In a cynical and ridiculous ploy, Lib Dems are claiming that the global fuel price increase is the fault of Lambeth Council! They are demanding that fuel bills for SOME residents should be subsidised by the council – meaning huge council tax rises for EVERY OTHER FAMILY already struggling to pay their own higher fuel bills. They know their proposals are completely undeliverable but are hoping no one will notice the cynical political game they’re playing. The proposals are not even targeted at the most needy – they are designed to appeal to voters living in marginal wards that the Lib Dems hope are gullible enough to believe them.
Last time they were in charge the Lib Dems put council tax up 40%. Their latest plans would send many of the borough’s poorest residents into more and more debt.