Osborne offers funds for council-tax freeze

Date published: 09 October 2012

OLDHAM Council will be given money by the Government to freeze council tax. But critics fear it will lead to a cut in services.

Chancellor George Osborne said local authorities would be given the equivalent of a one per cent increase to prevent a council tax increase.

But critics said the offer is below inflation and leaves council budgets “on a cliff edge”.

The announcement came at the start of the Tory Party conference in Birmingham.

Prime Minister David Cameron, talking to the Oldham Chronicle, also confirmed the idea of local pay — which would see Oldham nurses and other public-sector workers paid less than their southern counterparts — was still alive despite Lib-Dem partners opposing the move.

The PM said such “flexibility” would allow staff shortages to be plugged.

He also confirmed plans to rip up the political map of Oldham are still on the table. Under boundary changes there will be one parliamentary seat with the name Oldham - Oldham and Saddleworth - containing more than three-quarters of the current seat held by Labour MP Debbie Abrahams and part of Labour veteran Michael Meacher’s Oldham West and Royton.

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