The Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Montgomeryshire in the upcoming Senedd elections has hit out at what she calls the “sheer hypocrisy” of the Welsh Conservatives after the party announced it would like to introduce a council tax freeze across Wales when they have increased council tax by 26% in 4 years throughout Powys.
Commenting Alison Alexander said: “Its beggars’ belief that Powys Conservatives can have such short memories when it comes to council tax. In the last 4 years, the Conservative group on Powys County Council have supported a 26 per cent rise in council tax. This was after all their councillors stood on a commitment not to raise council tax at all during the term 2017-2022.
“The public aren’t the fools the Tories seem to be taking them for, how can anyone seriously expect the Conservative’s to commit to freezing council taxes across Wales when they have presided over such high increases here in Powys that have left those on the breadline struggling?
“There is often a mismatch between what the Conservatives say and what they do in reality. But in this instance in particular they really seem to be insulting the intelligence of the Powys electorate.
“Powys is bearing the brunt of not only council tax increases supported by the Tories, but also cuts to services and more recently a long list of potential school closures that is shaping up to be more like a rural school hit list than it is an ‘educational transformation programme’.
“I’m sure the Welsh Conservatives will seek to blame the government in Cardiff Bay, or the COVID pandemic for the need to increase council tax in Powys, but the reality is the amount of money provided to local authorities from Cardiff has increased this year and council tax had been risen each year since 2017, long before COVID began. This is in addition to the Conservatives cutting local government funding in England for several years, which impacted Welsh government financing by the Barnett formula.
“The ruling coalition in Powys council has also rejected alternative budgets with less steep council tax rises and cuts numerous times over the previous four years, but yet they found £5 million to loan to Cheltenham Borough Council in 2019.
“My message for local Conservative’s would be the people of Powys aren’t as forgetful as you seem to think they are.”