Lib Dems are calling for an emergency cut in VAT

 

Liberal Democrats are calling for an emergency cut in VAT to help combat the Cost of Living Crisis.

Nationally, the Conservatives have failed to appreciate how serious this situation has become, perhaps because they are focusing on PartyGate! 

Locally, for the third year in a row Conservative-run Dorset Council has increased its share of the Council Tax by the maximum allowed by the government.  For most local households that means finding another £50 from already stretched family budgets. For many others it means they are paying over £2,000 a year for the first time.

In addition, Conservative Councillors have chosen this time to increase car parking charges. There are new charges on Sunday's while some car parking charges are rising by up to 500%!  If you want to avoid this increase you could buy a "flexi-stay" permit - but that costs £260.  The only other car parking permit costs a more reasonable £78 but only gives you two hours of parking per day.

These increases are bad news for residents and potentially disastrous for local shops and businesses.  When every penny counts those who are struggling will use the free parking that's available at "out of town centre" stores.  This helps the large chain  stores but only speeds up the decline of our historic town centres.

On top of the problems caused by the war in Ukraine, the COVID pandemic and Brexit the Conservative Councillors running Dorset Council are making matters even worse.

The increases in Council Tax and car parking charges are potentially "the straw that broke the camels back" as they come on top of of an average rise in energy prices of £700, higher National Insurance contributions and higher prices for petrol and diesel.

Many poorer Dorset residents are facing a perfect storm - paying more tax just at the time that energy prices are rocketing and the cost of food has started to rise.  They are faced with a stark immediate choice between eating or heating.

That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for an emergency cut in VAT to help right now and major increase in investment to insulate older homes and so reduce their energy bills.

Locally, Dorset Council needs to cut down waste and do more to bring its Council tax and car parking charges under control.     

Only the Liberal Democrats can stop The Conservatives in Dorset.

  

Cllr. Andy Canning

Chair, West Dorset Liberal Democrats
http://www.west-dorset-libdems.org.uk/

 

 


Chaos at the April meeting of Dorset Council

Dorset Council's meeting in April ended in chaos after two climate change activists glued themselves to a desk and then tried to read out a statement.

The meeting was delayed for some time and when it resumed, in a nearby room, the Conservative majority closed down any further debate and moved straight to a vote on their motion.

This was democracy under attack.

Firstly by green activists adopting tactics that are anti-democratic and trying to intimidate elected Councillors.

But secondly, by the Conservatives refusing to allow the debate to resume, closing down discussion and then forcing a vote.

And what was being debated?

The Lib Dems were supporting a motion asking Dorset Council to lobby Government to change planning regulations. We wanted to make it easier to stop a development when it is damaging to the environment and likely to worsen climate change.

Conservatives opposed this and instead called for priority to be given to making the UK energy independent. What this means in practice is more nuclear power, more coal and more fracking.

This sounds like it might be an understandable position to take in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine but it would be a serious mistake.  It is incredibly short sighted. Achieving our carbon reduction targets is already hard enough without the Government spending billions making the situation worse.

The position also undermines the community group that is fighting valiantly to stop an oil well being drilled near Puddletown.  It was only recently confirmed that these plans had been withdrawn due to the strength of opposition to them.  We are now deeply concerned that Dorset Council's new position will lead to this proposal being brought back!

The Conservative Government has also been pushing for the first new coal mine in thirty years to be opened in Cumbria and they're still pressing for a new runway at Heathrow.

None of these measures are consistent with tackling climate change.

I believe we should be re-examining the plan for an offshore wind farm off the Dorset coastline and for more onshore wind production, which is by far the cheapest way to generate electricity.   

We need to tackle change now, while we still can. We must not go backwards with the Conservatives. 

 You can join us or become a registered supporter by clicking here https://www.libdems.org.uk/joining-us-local

We also rely on hundreds of volunteers here in West Dorset to deliver our FOCUS leaflets. If you can help, near where you live, for about an hour every couple of months please email me here [email protected]

Only the Liberal Democrats can stop The Conservatives in Dorset.

Yours Andy,       

Cllr. Andy Canning

Chair, West Dorset Liberal Democrats


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