The Liberal Democrat alternative budget for Cambridgeshire proposes a 2.9%increase in Council Tax this year compared to the Conservative plan for a 4.7% hike, way above inflation. Next year the LD increase would be 3.7% as against another 4.7% from the Tories. In addition, the Liberal Democrats propose £10.5 million extra spending on priority services.
In response to this year’s Council Tax and Budget proposals from the Conservative County Council, Lib Dem Group Leader David Jenkins commented, ‘In these hard times, The Council can and must make its resources work harder.’
‘Under our proposals every Council Taxpayer would spend less over the next two years and would also experience considerable improvements to services,’ added Cllr. Jenkins.
Councillor Nichola Harrison, Liberal Democrat Spokes for Resources said, ‘These proposals can be afforded because we have identified ‘fat’ in the Council’s budget – and cut it out! Reserves are 27% higher than forecast a year ago, yet during the same period highway repairs have been halted and more bus services lost.’
‘We think the Conservatives are simply hiding behind a set of myths and legends that they have created themselves. The County is not short changed on government funding – the county receives a near average level of support grant and the 2nd highest capital grant of all 39 counties. And although the level of increase in government grant this year is disappointingly low the Tories’ siege mentality blocks them from being ambitious with their own budget decisions.’
These budget proposals set the scene for the Liberal Democrat election manifesto,to be published in advance of the County Council elections which will take place on June 4th, in which the party will set out its plans for a full four year term of office.
Click here for the complete Lib Dem budget amendment.