LABOUR last night called on the Government to rethink allowing local authorities to raise council tax.

Councils are due to be given the power to raise council tax by as much as five per cent this year.

Local party figures accused the Government of 'forcing' the rise on vulnerable people in the area.

Labour MPs voted for a motion calling for the Government to drop the rise.

Citing estimated council tax rises per region, Labour warned families living in Band D 'will face an average rise of £93 next year', adding it would 'hit hardest' in areas like Barrow.

Steve Nott, a Labour councillor for Dalton South, said: "Well this government said they’d look after councils and ensure money was available for them to support their residents and local businesses throughout this pandemic.

"Clearly that was yet another lie as they’re forcing a council tax rise on to councils such as ours which will impact many vulnerable people severely in an area that has already seen cuts to the annual budget of nearly 50 per cent before the Covid pandemic."

Councils are due to be able to put 2 per cent on bills, plus another 3 per cent if they provide adult social care.

It remains the choice of council to decide whether to increase the charge.

Barrow and Furness Conservative MP Simon Fell abstained on the motion.

He said: "Given that the Labour Party chose not to oppose the local government settlement when it was agreed in the House of Commons it feels more than a little opportunist to make a stand against it now.

"Quite rightly decisions on council tax should be taken locally rather than in Westminster."