Tony Blair launched Labour’s local election campaign today by making three main points, the first of which was: “… the average council tax in the country is lower under Labour than under the Liberal Democrat or Conservative authorities.” This statement expands on a pretty bizarre press release from Phil Woolas the local government minister. The way they come up with this guff is by failing to compare apples with apples. Labour has more appeal amongst lower income communities who live in smaller, lower banded homes. The other parties appeal to middle and higher income groups that live in larger homes. So Labour is comparing someone who lives in a small home with someone who lives in a large home and claiming that they pay less.
In London the picture is the reverse of Labour’s specious claims if you only look at apples. The average band D council tax this year will be £1,218. The average Conservative borough’s tax is £1,147. The average Labour borough’s tax is £1,274. Of course Ealing is much worse than even the Labour average at £1,309.