Responding to the announcement by Surrey County Council that it proposes to increase Council Tax by 15%, triggering a local referendum to approve the increase, Reigate MP Crispin Blunt said:
“Surrey County Council is in a very difficult situation with national funding skewed heavily and unfairly against it. The Government’s Fair Funding Review should produce relief for the hard-pressed Surrey taxpayer by 2019-20.
“In the meantime, County Councillors have faced an unenviable choice to increase the local tax or reduce services at a time when demand for adult social care, learning disabilities and children’s services is rising. The Conservative County Council has decided to raise extra funding through a referendum. That is a decision County Councillors are elected to take and, as a fellow Conservative, I will support their collective judgement, knowing they have found the prospect of raising taxes deeply unwelcome.
“I will continue to press the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to deliver the fairer funding allocation, correcting the bias against counties such as Surrey. It is the national tax and benefit system that should be used to transparently redistribute wealth, and covertly loading formulae designed to ‘help our friends in the north’ into the opaque world of local government finance during the Labour years has produced the impossible position Surrey County Council taxpayers now face.”
Surrey County Council announcement here.