Sunday 24 January 2021 / 10:30 PM Local Government / Steve Reed

Million workers who face unemployment will be hit with £100 council tax rises, says Labour

More than one million workers in England could face unemployment just as they get hit with Boris Johnson’s £100 council tax hike, according to new research from Labour.

The Government’s Job Retention Scheme will end on 31 April and will see many workers laid off, with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasting that unemployment will peak at 2.6m in the second quarter of this year – a rise of one million since the fourth quarter of 2020.

During the same month, 2.7m furloughed workers will be hit by Boris Johnson’s plan to hike council tax by almost £100 for families across England.

Labour will be forcing a Commons’ vote today urging Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to stop their planned council tax hike to protect family budgets and help secure the economy.

Under the Government’s proposals set out in the Comprehensive Spending Review, families living in Band D will face an average rise of £93 next year. The council tax rises will hit hardest in the North West and North East, which have high proportions of people currently on furlough, and where rises will be higher than the average.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick previously said councils would be funded to do “whatever it takes” to support their communities but later backtracked and suggested councils should share the burden of their lost income.

Steve Reed MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said:

“The Prime Minister’s £2 billion council tax bombshell will hit many hard-pressed families at the worst possible time – just as many receive their p45s.

“This Government should not be making families pay the price for their broken promises to support councils.

“The Prime Minister must scrap this economically illiterate council tax rise – and if he doesn’t, Conservative MPs need to do the right thing and vote with Labour to protect families’ incomes and help secure our economy.”