Tuesday 29 January 2019 / 12:01 AM Local Government

These revelations have exposed the Tories at their very worst – Andrew Gwynne

Andrew Gwynne MP, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, responding to the IFS’s report showing that councils have been forced to place the burden of cuts on low-income households, and to the WMS admitting that only now will councils receive modest support in preparing for Brexit, said:

“It’s been a bad day for James Brokenshire. The various revelations from the Local Government department have exposed the Tories at their very worst.

“We’ve discovered that sixty days before Brexit, the government is only now going to support local communities with Brexit preparations. And all because ministers were cynically politicking, by cosying up to the Treasury, rather than defending the interest of our communities. Local authorities should have been at the front of the queue for Brexit preparation funding on the day we triggered Article 50, but instead they’ve been neglected by the Tories.

“And now, in this report, the IFS has laid bare the effects of the Conservatives’ thoughtless, cruel and ideological cuts.

“As the Tories have phased out government grants, councils have been forced to push the burden onto local residents – through both council tax increases and cuts to the council tax discounts that poorer households rely on. The Tories know this doesn’t work – the councils that have faced the harshest cuts are also the least able to raise additional funding through higher council taxes – but Brokenshire and his party just don’t care.”