Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Government Underfunding Means Another Inflation Busting Council Tax Hike Next Year

Picture from isitfair.co.uk

The Government today announced what funding it will provide local councils next year. There is an informative article on epolitix.com.

Once again Government funding will be insufficient to match spending demands on local councils. Every year the Government requires local councils to do more and more but fails to provide sufficient money. The Government has forced up council tax by astronomical levels since 1997. It is a stealth tax pure and simple. The Government has wanted to spend more money and rather than directly raising taxes, they have under funded local government, imposed spending obligations on councils and forced up council tax to pay for it. The Government then pretends otherwise.

This is causing enormous distress to those on fixed or low incomes, who are finding a disproprionate amount of their income is going on tax bills.

Locally in Southampton the Conservatives commit to keep council tax increases below the rate of inflation. We are working on our budget proposals now in preparation for the budget meeting in February. Conservatives will seek to protect our vital front line services like social sevices and education whilst at the same time eliminating bureaucracy so tax can be kept down. Like last year I will do a posting on the detail of Conservative budget proposals.

Every year Labour and the Lib Dems produce an inflation busting council tax hike and then do a deal with each other to implement it. I wonder if this year will be any different.

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