Commitment to not raise West Yorkshire tax burden made by leading mayoral contenders

The two main candidates in the West Yorkshire mayoral race have said they would not take advantage of devolution powers to impose new taxes on the region.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 5:45 am

Conservtaive pick Matt Robinson yesterday pledged to forgo powers under the devolution deal which would allow him, if elected, to add an extra precept on to council tax bills in West Yorkshire.

Mr Robinson said: “As West Yorkshire looks to the future and bouncing back stronger from the pandemic, I know that many people have bills to pay, costs they’re worried about and want some certainty in their financial future.

“That’s why I have today set out my commitment that I will not levy new taxes on the people of West Yorkshire.”

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Candidates for West Yorkshire mayor Matt Robinson (Conservative) and Tracy Brabin (Labour). Photos: Submitted/PA

“As a mayoral candidate I’ve talked about West Yorkshire being a land of opportunity for all. And that means not coming into office and immediately taxing people more but rather using every penny in every pound of the mayoral budget better so we ensure it’s delivering results before asking the residents of West Yorkshire for more, especially when so many have struggled through the pandemic.”

He said his opponents should either join him in the pledge, or reveal how much they expect to add to bills.

And approached by The Yorkshire Post, Labour’s candidate Tracy Brabin said: “The new metro mayor will take over the role and budgets of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Combined Authority. Portions of those budgets will continue to be funded through the existing council tax precept but I have no intention of introducing an additional precept.

“People in West Yorkshire have been taxed enough. West Yorkshire’s councils have been forced to increase council tax after the Conservatives broke their promise to help with the cost of Covid. Local people are paying the price of the Conservatives’ failure to deal with the pandemic.”

Also running in the West Yorkshire mayoral race, with voting on May 6, are Stewart Golton (Liberal Democrats), Andrew Cooper (Green Party), Bob Buxton (Yorkshire Party), and Therese Hirst (English Democrats).