Sun bias in council tax reporting

The Sun gives the misleading impression that “council tax has doubled” because of Labour’s policies - seven of the ten councils with the biggest rises are Tory.

Page two of yesterday’s Sun ran an article by Deputy Political Editor Graeme Wilson slamming the Labour government for overseeing council tax rises of more than double and up to treble in some areas.

Shadow communities secretary Caroline Spelman was only too happy to give a quote:

“The figures show for the first time just how much Gordon Brown has been snatching to feed the economic black hole his polices have created”

The only problem for The Sun and Ms Spelman is their spin hides the truth.

Accompanying the article is a table showing the ten highest rises in council tax over the last decade. These councils are:

1. City of London – N/A
2. Tower Hamlets – Labour
3. South Cambridgeshire – Conservative
4. East Cambridgeshire – Conservative
5. Fenland – Conservative
6. Westminster – Conservative
7. Wandsworth – Conservative
8. Brent – Conservative/Lib Dem
9. Hackney – Labour
10. Torridge – Conservative/Ind
Just two of those councils are controlled by Labour in contrast to seven of those councils that have Tories either leading them or in the executive. This leaves the myth that the Tories are the party of low council tax truly in tatters.

It also further highlights that The Sun is simply becoming an attack sheet for the Conservative party and has lost all interest whatsoever in honest and impartial reporting, it now has a political agenda that is going to drive virtually every article they are going to write between now and the next election.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today. 

8 Responses to “Sun bias in council tax reporting”

  1. Blah

    Maybe you should look at the relative council tax levels of each authority before you make spurious points. I’m not going to bother explaining why your stretching for this at best because you seem to need to learn that research is a part of journalism. Go away and finish your homework…..

  2. SSP Campsie

    RT @leftfootfwd Sun bias in council tax reporting:

  3. IH


    I suggest you re-read the post. It’s the Sun that’s decided to list these authorities in an effort to make a political point about Labour. It strikes me as pretty reasonable to point out that many of the listed authorities are actually tory.

    I like this site because it makes an effort to treat its readers as grown ups. I think your point about relative council tax levels is fair comment, but the way you made it was unnecessarily rude.

  4. Jack Storry

    Blah – I don’t think it is at all a stretch to suggest that The Sun is essentially deceiving the public by suggesting Labour is responsible for these council tax rises when just two of the authorities are controlled by Labour.

    Caroline Spelman is also only too happy to claim it is Gordon Brown snatching this money away from the taxpayer when it is in fact Tory councils that are guilty in the large part for these rises.

  5. Christine Melsom

    One again you fail to grasp the fact that Government grant plays a large part in the council tax equation. The Government has skewed grants in favour of their heartlands. EG. Hampshire £107 per head of population. Durham £334 per head of population. Not only do they get a much bigger grant, but because of the banding system, similar houses in these two areas vary greatly. My two bedroomed house falls into band E here in Hampshire – a similar house in Durham would fall into A or B.

  6. David Jones

    Or in other words, the government grant goes to those areas with the greatest needs and the lowest ability to pay – sounds sensible to me.

    Still leaves the question of why Tory-held councils are responsible for the highest RISES given their rhetoric on supposed efficiency savings to be found seemingly at will.

  7. Roger

    The Sun ever had an interest in ‘honest and impartial reporting’?

    The fact is that council tax only covers 25% of LA expenditure (see for details).

    Even large changes in council tax rates are thus somewhat marginal.

  8. Chris

    This government has consisently reduced the majority of LA funding – the government grant, whilst giving LAs more and more responsibilities.

    Not sure if you pay council tax but try and get hold of a bill and look at other elements. Where I used to live we would get an broken down council tax including increase – so it highlighted that LA funding was static , but pension liabilities for police were rising in double digits.

Leave a Reply