Ruffley slams soaring cost of local taxes

Tuesday, 7 September, 2004

David Ruffley MP this week warned that Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and local residents of the surrounding villages were finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet due to rising property taxes and utility bills. The warnings comes amid new research highlighting how much extra a typical family in St Edmundsbury and Stowmarket has paid in council tax since 1997.

The new analysis reveals:

• Across England, the cumulative change in council tax since 1997 is £1,716 on Band D bills, followed by £1,039 in Scotland and £1,557 in Wales.

• In Mid Suffolk, council taxpayers have had to pay £1,914 extra.

• In St Edmundsbury, council taxpayers have had to pay £1,994 extra.

David Ruffley MP said:

'Amazingly, the typical family in St Edmundsbury and Mid Suffolk has lost over £1,900 in higher council tax bills alone since the Labour Government came to power, despite Tony Blair's pledge that he had 'no plans to increase tax at all'. Rural areas, such as Suffolk have been hit the hardest by Labour's fiddled funding.

'I am very concerned about the cumulative impact of property taxes- in the form of soaring council taxes, rising stamp duty and greater inheritance tax liability. On top of this, belts are having to be tightened because of rising water and energy bills. Much of the reason for rising utility prices is in turn the impact of higher taxes like Gordon Brown's pensions tax, higher National Insurance contributions and rising landfill taxes.

'I doubt any household believes that their public services have improved by the same amount that their local tax bills have soared. The truth is that Labour's higher taxes have been wasted on armies of clipboard inspectors, regional talking shops and fat government.'