Thomas Bridge 01 May 2015

Pickles reveals Tories blocked Lib Dem push for new council tax powers

Eric Pickles has claimed he blocked the Lib Dems from handing councils new powers to impose fresh taxes.

The Conservative communities secretary last night fired off a string of tweets detailing local government policies his Coalition partners had tried, but failed, to implement.

He said that while Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg had pushed for local authorities to receive new powers to introduce taxes, the policy had failed to gain traction because the ‘Conservatives said no’.

Paraphrasing from comedy programme Little Britain, Pickles went on to list a string of local polices to which his party had ‘said no’.

His controversial Twitter spree took place as party leaders were grilled on the BBC’s Question Time.

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson told LocalGov: ‘Liberal Democrats believe passionately in localism and transparency. The relationship between councillors and their constituents is decided at the ballot box. For this reason we are planning to remover the council tax referendum threshold and give councils more opportunity to raise the funds they need to pay for services and stand by their records at election time.

‘We also believe that local people and councils know better than central government how to raise and spend money. This is why we will give local areas more freedoms, through Local Enterprise Partnerships to invest and build their local economies.’

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