The decision to increase council tax by 2.97 per cent has been criticised by the Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrat group. 

The Lib Dems believe the new charges and council tax rise “are the local Conservatives pouring fuel on the misery their government have caused us all with their cost-of-living crisis”. 

Leader Cllr Paul Zukowskyj added: “It is all very well one of the leading Conservative councillors blaming Vladimir Putin – have you ever heard of anything so desperate? – but it is a Conservative government, a Conservative county council, a Conservative borough council, and a Conservative police and crime commissioner. I think most people can work out where the blame lies.” 

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In response to the Lib Dems statement, the Conservative party said: “This is a human issue, and it is so disappointing that the Lib Dems are again fixated on making it a political one. Although given Local Election season is just around the corner, it's hardly surprising.” 

Paul went on to say: “I would have had a small amount of sympathy for the local council in that the government has slashed grants to councils year after year, but they have failed to complain to the government and to our MP, so that sympathy has evaporated.” 

“The Conservatives have failed us all and need to go.” 

The spokesperson for Welwyn Hatfield Conservatives added: "The Lib Dems' feeble attempt to twist this situation to get you to vote for them is as shameful as it is predictable.   

"Lib Dem-led councils everywhere are taking the same kind of action to balance their books as we have. For instance, Lib Dem-controlled St Albans council has proposed a 2.99 per cent rise in its council tax, and South Cambridgeshire’s Lib Dem-run council has done the same."


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The Conservative party added: "The hypocrisy doesn’t end there. Paul Zukowskyj declined to engage in the discussion on the council’s budget at the budget-setting meeting, instead opting to “keep his powder dry” when given the chance to explain how his team would do things differently. We look forward to perhaps hearing what his top-secret plans are, one day.” 

"In the meantime, the Conservative government supports every family and business in the UK by paying up to half of what would otherwise be their energy bill and have done what is necessary to balance the council’s books while keeping the rise in council tax well below inflation."