Jane Lock, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Somerset County Council said :-
“The Conservatives who are reducing Somerset County Council to meltdown have imposed not one, not two, but THREE double whammies on the residents of Somerset in their budget.
First double whammy : An inflation busting council tax rise of over 5% ;
At the same time, cutting vital services for the most vulnerable, while stashing some of the last minute cash from the Government into reserves.
Second double whammy : Choosing cuts which will cost the taxpayer more money than they save, such as care for older people and people with mental health problems ;
At the same time, paying huge fees for agency staff, costing twice as much as the staff who have been made redundant. One agency alone costs SCC £1.6 million per month.
Third double whammy : Tory Councillors and M.Ps in Somerset have failed yet again to get a fair deal from the Tory Government in the budget settlement. Wealthy Surrey received about five times as much as rural Somerset in the carve-up of the Government's desperate last-minute attempt to buy off Tory councils and M.Ps.
At the same time, part of the 5% council tax rise is a “Flooding Tax” on residents of Somerset. David Cameron promised 'Money is no object', but still shunted much of the cost for Somerset's flood defences onto the council tax payer.”