MP quizzes David Cameron on council tax ‘mistake’

Morecambe Town Hall.
Morecambe Town Hall.

Have our council tax bills risen by too much?

The MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale is worried they may have done because his council tax bill shows the wrong figure.

David Morris’ bill shows a year-on-year increase of 2% when local authorities are not allowed to raise council tax above 1.99% without holding a referendum.

He raised the issue with David Cameron at Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

Mr Cameron replied: “This Government is making the money available so that councils can freeze their council tax. There is no excuse for councils who don’t want to make that step.”

Other council tax bills for the Lancaster district also show a 2% rise for Lancaster City Council, Lancashire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proportion of tax.

But a spokesman for Lancaster City Council confirmed the year-on-year rise for their proportion was actually 1.99%. A Lancashire County Council spokesman said theirs was 1.9%.

As the Guardian went to press, neither council was able to confirm whether the bill figure was a misprint or if there had been a miscalculation.

Mr Morris has reported the findings to both the electoral commission and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

He said: “I would like to hope that this has all been an expensive mistake and that all electors in my constituency are able to be given a rebate for the wrongly calculated amount, but I am mindful that this may have been done deliberately by the council behind closed doors to dodge a referendum.”