05/03/2021 – Press Release - Hidden in the Budget - A Stealth Tax for West Sussex
The Budget represented a great opportunity for the Government to hit the reset button on its approach to funding local Government. Labour Candidates in Mid Sussex were exasperated to hear that Rishi Sunak was in fact going to do nothing to address our ailing Councils shortfall in funding, instead paving the way for a tax increase by stealth. In West Sussex this means a 5% increase in Council Tax over the next year.
Over the past decade of Tory and Lib Dem rule, the cuts to Local Government funding from Westminster have meant:
- A 44% increase in Council Tax since 2014. A Band D resident in West Sussex on average will pay £737 extra per year to cover the shortfall in funding from the Government
- Cuts of over £7 Million made to the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service leading to the redundancy of 305 Firefighters and longer response times
- 32 out of 43 Child &Family Centres plus all 12 ‘Find It Out’ Centres earmarked for closure, putting vital support for local families in jeopardy
- West Sussex school budgets cut by up to 20% since 2010 leading to outdated school facilities and parents paying for equipment out of their own pockets
Our Conservative Councillors have failed to challenge the underfunding of local Government from Westminster and have accepted a combination of inadequate service and ever-increasing Council Tax as an inevitability.
As candidates, we argue this is not inevitable. Is it, for instance right that senior management salaries and special allowances for Councillors are protected whilst social care is cut?
It is time that we put people ahead of profits, and that is the message we will be taking to the people of Mid Sussex ahead of the County Council elections this May. Let’s unlock the potential of our community.
Labour Candidates for West Sussex County Council
Sue Jex (Burgess Hill East)
Pam Haigh (Burgess Hill North)
Paul Kenny (Cuckfield & Lucastes)
David Wilbraham (East Grinstead Meridian)
Fred Burns (Hassocks & Burgess Hill South)
Richard Whiting (Haywards Heath East)
Greg Mountain (Haywards Heath Town)
Alison Whelan (Hurstpierpoint & Bolney)
Tim Weekes (Lindfield & High Weald)