Magazine article Public Finance

ODPM Select Committee Grills Housden over Council Tax Caps

Magazine article Public Finance

ODPM Select Committee Grills Housden over Council Tax Caps

Article excerpt

The new permanent secretary at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister received a rough ride at his debut in front of MPs this week when they pushed him to justify capping councils for excessive council tax increases.

Appearing before the Commons ODPM select committee on November 14, Peter Housden said he was 'not in a position to comment1 on whether an arbitrary percentage figure was a flawed premise for capping authorities, but added that all decisions were taken on a case by case basis.

Conservative committee member Sir Paul Beresford, who put the capping guestion to Housden, was also unimpressed with the permanent secretary's assertion that local government was operating under a much less restrictive regime than in 2O01, when Housden himself was last working in the sector.

'Everyone I talk to in local government tells me the opposite,' Beresford said. …

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