Local Labour campaigners are warning people in Dorset that David Cameron got his sums wrong when he claimed that Conservative-led councils like Weymouth & Portland, West Dorset and Purbeck charge the lowest Council Tax.
National analysis of the latest Council Tax figures for 2014/15 from the Department of Communities & Local Government shows that households in Labour-controlled council areas pay less Council Tax on average than households in Tory or Liberal Democrat-controlled council areas.
Where Labour controls the local council, households pay on average £334 less per year than those living in Tory areas and £300 less than those in Lib Dem areas.
This will come as an embarrassment to David Cameron who claimed that Tory councils run the best-value councils and have the lowest council tax and who promised to freeze council taxes - this year over a quarter, 47 in total, of Tory-controlled councils increased council taxes.
The table below shows average Council Tax per dwelling, based on party control.
Political Control Average Council Tax per dwelling
Lib Dem £1198
Local Labour campaigner in Dorset Dan Brember said:
"Local people have a real chance to vote for change this May. We have two Labour-controlled councils in the south west, which charge £1537 and £1514 per year on a Band D property – lower than in Tory-led West Dorset and Purbeck, and In Weymouth we pay £1723 – over £200 a year more.
The myth David Cameron wants us to believe is that the Conservatives are the low-tax party. These inconvenient figures – from a government department – show that this is simply not the case. You pay less under Labour."
Hilary Benn MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:
"David Cameron once claimed that Tory councils offered best value-for-money but this official data shows that this isn't the case.
"Families with a Labour-run council have lower Council Tax bills than those living under Tory or Lib Dem control.
"At a time when so many households are facing a cost of living crisis under this Tory-led Government, Labour in local government is doing its best to help local residents by keeping Council Tax bills down.
"The truth is that while David Cameron cut the top rate of tax for people earning over £150,000, hardworking families are on average £1,600 worse off under him. This Tory-led Government stands up for the wrong people every time."
Source: DCLG Statistical Release: Council Tax levels set by local authorities in England – 2014-2015, 26 March, 2014 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/council-tax-levels-set-by-local-authorities-in-england-2014-to-2015)