By Councillor Suzanne Grocott, Merton Council shadow finance spokeswoman (Conservative, Dundunald ward)

In response to the article on changes to council tax benefit , Councillor Mark Allison has again missed the point of Government policy, immediately seeing it just in terms of how much cash Merton receives centrally. 

Have local councils become so used to not being able to blow their nose without central Government intervention that they don’t know how to think for themselves?

This policy is not about trying to hurt those most in need, it is about giving Councils the freedom to make their own decisions about who they think should be eligible for benefits and at what level these should be set, based on the individual local population.   

Conservative Councillors are keen to participate fully in discussions, but we must be given all the facts, not just the options this Administration is putting forward in its Consultation.

This point was raised at the council's Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting on Tuesday, July 17, and a date is being put in the diary to explore the subject more fully.

Rather than the usual rhetoric about keeping Council Tax low, this Labour Administration is in a position to cut Council Tax for all residents, but chooses not to as it would blow wide open their strategy of blaming the Government for their own poor financial management.


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