Cameron pledges to freeze council tax

Conservative leader David Cameron today pledged to help working families get through the economic downturn and said he would help by freezing council tax for two years.

David Cameron was in York - where he will spend Christmas with his family - talking to young parents Chris and Sarah Charlton.

Mr Cameron was invited to have breakfast with the couple, who were selected by GMTV to question him.

In November the Charltons were invited to Downing Street to question Prime Minister Gordon Brown, but this time it was the Tory leader who was facing the questions.

Mr Charlton said the main challenge over the year was paying the mortgage, which he said had come down recently with the interest rate cuts. However, he said the gas and electricity bills were still high, along with food prices.

Mr Charlton said the Prime Minister had accused the Tory leader of doing nothing for young families during the tough economic times and he asked him what he would do.

Mr Cameron said: "That's not right, we would do lots of things to help because we recognise what a difficult time it is for families who are struggling with kids and all the bills.

"One of the first things we would do is freeze the council tax, because after your mortgage that is one of the big bills that you have to pay, and we have identified savings in the Government - the stuff they spend on advertising and consultants - and use that money to freeze your council tax for two years to try and help at this time.

"So to say we would do nothing is wrong," he told the family.

"We have got lots of plans to help business by letting them pay their VAT bills late. A big plan to get the lending out of the banks and into the businesses," he added.

Mr Cameron said he did not think the recent VAT cut was a good idea because the Government needed to keep debt down. He said families would face future tax rises because of the debt.

"It's a question of doing the right thing rather than the wrong thing," he said.

Mr Cameron said families across the country were concerned about paying their mortgages.

He said: "We have got to make sure the mortgage rate cuts that have come through get passed on. We have got to keep those interest rates down for the long term so you know your mortgage rate isn't going to go up.

"That's where I worry that the Government's massive borrowing is going to make it more difficult to keep the interest rates down."

Mrs Charlton said she would like to have another child but the economic circumstances mean it is difficult. She asked the Tory leader what he would do to help young families.

Mr Cameron told the couple that the key was flexible working hours.

He said: "I think that we would make sure that all families with young children have the right to ask for flexible working and I think we'd get more flexible working. Companies will recognise that they should keep you on the existing sort of job and give you flexibility."

The Conservative leader told the couple that marriage in this country is important and should be recognised in the tax system.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Website Editor

£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...

Year 1 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: The Job An inner city Birmingham sc...

Year 2 Teacher - Maternity cover

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Year 2 maternity cover, startin...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments