Arab Today, arab today george osborne extends council tax freeze
Last Updated : GMT 01:22:36
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

George Osborne extends council tax freeze

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today George Osborne extends council tax freeze

London - Arabstoday

A council tax freeze in England will be extended to 2012-13 under plans to be unveiled by chancellor George Osborne.The £805m move will be paid for by a Whitehall \"underspend\", aides said.The government cannot force councils to freeze bills - but it is offering to give those which limit spending rises to 2.5% the money they need.Mr Osborne will also tell the Tory Party conference in Manchester that he remains determined to stick to the coalition\'s deficit reduction targets.The chancellor is under pressure to spell out detailed plans to get the UK economy growing again amid mounting criticism from Labour and senior figures in his own party.BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins says that with little spare cash for crowd-pleasing announcements Mr Osborne\'s speech will focus on the government\'s current economic strategy.He is expected to address head-on arguments for a U-turn onspending cuts and argue that his tough deficit reduction plan is even more important now because of the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone.But he will say that does not mean ministers are \"powerless\" when it comes to boosting growth.Mr Osborne will cite the increase in time an employee has to work before they can claim unfair dismissal as an example of how the government will lift the burden on business.But the bulk of his plans will not be announced until November in the second phase of the government\'s growth review.On the planned council tax freeze, which it is thought could save the average family up to £72, Mr Osborne will say: \"I wanted to help families and pensioners with the daily cost of living.\"A similar pledge was included in the coalition agreement and resulted in all local authorities in England freezing or reducing their council tax bills in 2011-12.But shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie said: \"Out-of-touch ministers don\'t seem to understand that people are struggling with rising prices and energy bills now, but this policy means no help for another six months.\"It would mean just £72 for a typical household, which is a fraction of the extra £450 a year the Tory VAT rise alone is costing a couple with children.\"On Sunday, Prime Minister David Cameron promised up to 200,000 extra affordable homes and 400,000 new jobs.He ruled out a U-turn on spending cuts but denied he was \"sitting back\" in the face of economic stagnation.Mr Cameron cited plans to boost the \"right-to-buy\" for council house tenants in England and release government land for development as examples of action being taken.But Labour said the economy was \"flatlining\" thanks to his policies and he had run out of ideas.From / BBC

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