KIRKLEES Conservatives today hit out at the Liberal Democrats over their plans for the maximum increase in Council Tax.
They launched a fierce attack on council and Liberal Democrats leader Clr Kath Pinnock.
She had criticised the Conservatives' decision not to take part in the pre-budget debate.
Political groups on the council have submitted their budget proposals for debate at tomorrow's meeting.
But the Conservatives reiterated that the time has come to scrap the whole budget-setting farce and introduce new procedures that targets Council Tax increases at inflation and keeps them there.
Conservative group leader Clr Robert Light said: "Every year the Liberal Democrats come out with the same tired excuses, blame the rises on the Government for treating Kirklees unfairly and then put up the rate at the maximum they can get away with.
"It is no secret that the council is in financial crisis due to their mismanagement, and it is no secret that without the Government's 5% cap, our residents would be faced with a rise of between 10 and 15%.
"They have to understand that the public, the people who receive the sky-high bills that the council produces year on year, are sick of the rises, and are sick of the bickering and play-acting that takes place to set the budget.
"The ones who suffer are the pensioners, the low paid, families, and the vulnerable.
"They are the ones who will be receiving yet another inflation-busting rise, and they are the ones that will have to pay it."
He said that at tomorrow's debate, the Liberal Democrats and Labour will trade £10,000 here and £5,000 there, come to an agreement which they can all live with and the bills showing the 5% increase will be in the post without a thought for those who have to pay.
"Our aim remains to get Council Tax increases down to inflation within three years, and to keep it there. But as long as the Liberal Democrats remain in charge of this Council, people will continue to be faced with the maximum possible increase."