At its core, council tax is a fundamentally unfair, regressive tax, based on outdated housing valuations from over three decades ago, and does not accurately reflect the situation we have today.

This means that, in addition to the multitude of Tory tax rises we have seen since they came to power in 2010, the announcement of an additional hike in council tax this year is a real kick in the teeth to Stockport residents.

Whilst we will hear more and more from ministers in the coming months about National Insurance cuts, it is nothing but hot air when coupled with council tax hikes.

As it always the way with this government, they give with one hand and take with the other, with working people paying the price for their failures.

The people of Stockport deserve so much better, but they’re instead saddled with a Liberal Democrat administration who are more than happy to do the Conservatives’ bidding for them, no change there then.

No one is in any doubt that local government is in crisis right across the country.

Authorities of all shapes and sizes are on the brink of collapse, with Section 114 notices coming at a frightening pace.

We are in this state, because the Tories, formerly aided by the Liberal Democrats, in Westminster have passed on 14 years of savage cuts to local government budgets.

Year after year, councils have had to cut further and further back, till there is nothing left to give.

All many councils are left with is the bare bones of their statutory duties such as children’s and adult’s services, yet even those are now barely able to survive.

The solution to this isn’t to lump further strain onto local residents by hiking up council tax year-on-year.

We need a government committed to fundamentally reforming our local government finance system to one that delivers thriving local services and is fair and equitable for local people.

Under this Conservative government, we don’t need councils who will simply lie down and let central government walk all over them.

Stockport needs an administration that will stand up for local people, and fight back against the Tories.

If the Liberal Democrats are not up to the task, then the Labour Party are ready to step up and deliver for the people of the borough.

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