Residents in Leicestershire are to be hit with the maximum 4.99% Council Tax rise, an equivalent of over £67 for a band D household, after the Conservative County Council passed its budget today.
Opposing the rise the Liberal Democrats, who are the official opposition group on the County Council, hit out at the failure to get fair funding for Leicestershire from the Conservative government.
Cllr Michael Mullaney, Leicestershire Liberal Democrat Finance spokesman said "Leicestershire is the worst funded County in the country by this Conservative government. This means that local people are being hit in the pockets to make up the shortfall caused by the Tory government's stinginess towards our area. As a county because we are unfairly funded by the Tory government we face a huge £79 million funding gap which will have to be paid for by residents in Council Tax rises and service cuts.
"The Conservatives have run Leicestershire County Council as a one party state since 2001 they have had years to secure fair funding but have failed. All our MPs in Leicestershire are Conservative yet they have consistently failed to get fair funding from their government. The Conservative leader of the County Council told us in 2018 that they had convinced then junior minister Rishi Sunak of the case for fair funding for Leicestershire. Yet now Mr Sunak holds the nations purse strings and is the most powerful person in the land on financial matters and they have still failed to get fair funding from him.
"The people of Leicestershire are paying the price of Tory failure to get fair funding with big increases in Council Tax at a time of real hardship for many people.
"The Conservative County Council made securing fair funding from their government their flagship policy. They have comprehensively failed to deliver it. This May people in Leicestershire have the chance to punish the Conservatives for their failure to deliver by voting them out of office."
Leader of Leicestershire Lib Dems Cllr SImon Galton said "It's becoming increasingly clear that the Government is not going to change the funding formula to help areas like Leicestershire and are instead going to put any extra money into northern towns as part of their 'levelling up' agenda. This project is really about the Conservative Party's future election prospects and despite an officers report warning about this the Tories at County Hall don't want to face up to the fact that their party in Government seems likely to be going to break its promise."