In a response to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over recent Labour tax hikes, the Prime Minister took a hilarious swipe at the shadow secretary of state for communities and local government Andrew Gwynne who interrupted her during her speech.
Theresa May said: “We all know, he talks about tax, the top one per cent of the taxpayers are paying the highest burden of tax than they ever paid under Labour.
“And we all know what Labour would mean for council taxpayers because just this week, the shadow community secretary backed…”
As Mr Gwynne interrupted the Prime Minister, she brilliantly started mocking him: “Oh, oh, he says, oh oh. Could that be because he doesn’t want people to know what he is supporting?
“Because he has supported a plan to stop local taxpayers having the right to stop tax hikes.
“He supported a plan to introduce a land value tax, a tax on your home and your garden.
“And he wants to introduce a new hotel tax. We all know what would happen under Labour.
“More taxes and ordinary working people would pay the price.”
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell was urged to abolish referendums for council tax rises, allow higher tax levies on empty homes and give authorities the ability to look at local taxes such as land value tax and a tourism tax.
The suggestions formed part of a package of measures produced by the Local Government Association’s Labour group in a report which sets out how to reverse the “destroying effects of Tory austerity”.
Sharon Taylor, who leads Stevenage Council and contributed to the On Day One report, said: “If John McDonnell wants to see an irreversible shift in the balance of wealth in favour of working people, then he must take steps to ensure a similarly permanent shift in the balance of power from Whitehall to local communities.
“By trusting in local government’s democratic accountability, understanding of communities, and experience of making every pound count, he can deliver immediate and visible improvements to people’s lives.”
The report also demands an end to the ring-fencing of funding, to give local councils the “flexibility to deliver what works best and shift priorities as evidence emerges of best practice”.
Local Labour leaders are also urging the party leadership to give new powers to allow authorities to build council homes, open new schools and create a children’s centre in every community.