SURREY KEEPS COUNCIL TAX DOWN

Following the decision by Surrey County Council to keep its council tax rise to 4.4% for the year 2004-5, local Conservatives have expressed disappointment that Waverley's unpopular Liberal Democrats have approved a budget that means a 6.2% rise on their part of the Council Tax. This is nearly double the rise in Conservative-controlled Guildford, which has managed to restrict its rise to 3.4%. Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council opposed the low Surrey County Council rise and continue to support programmes that would force the Council Tax even higher. Now Waverley Conservatives led by David Harmer are pressing Waverley's Liberal Democrats to show the same restraint as neighbouring Guildford. ""It is a shame that they have not been willing to control their natural spendthrift instincts when it is the poorer pensioners who suffer most from Liberal Democrat tax rises,"" said David. He added ""people will not be fooled by the Liberal Democrats trying to hide their rises behind a smokescreen of wanting to abolish the Council Tax in favour of a local income tax, which would probably make people worse off anyway.""