20% of councils may increase council tax

November 24, 2011 2:25 PM

Today we announced our Pin-up and Pinhead of the Month. The pinhead was Cllr Jason Kitcat, a Green Party councillor from Brighton and Hove, and the portfolio holder for Finance and Central Services. His council is not going to take up the government's offer of extra cash in return for not increasing council tax in 2012/13. Unfortunately, Cllr Kitcat is not the only pinhead in our town halls across the country.

According to a BBC report, an amazing 20% of councils may increase council tax from next spring. This is despite the government setting aside £805 million from efficiency savings to give to councils to ease our council tax burden. 

One of the main reasons cited in the Local Government Chronicle is that councils fear a sharp rise in council tax in 2013/14, when no government assistance will be available. Hardly the most convincing argument I've ever heard. Why should there be a sharp rise? What would cause it? As councils find efficiency savings, they are not going to suddenly spend more from 2013.

Over the last decade we have not seen the quality of council services double, but the same cannot be said of our council tax bills. We have highlighted in many TPA reports ways councils can reduce spending.

Not accepting the government's offer is wrong, and will unnecessarily increase the burden on families when they can least afford it. To threaten sharp rises for the following year is scaremongering, which is the last thing any of us need at this moment in time.Today we announced our Pin-up and Pinhead of the Month. The pinhead was Cllr Jason Kitcat, a Green Party councillor from Brighton and Hove, and the portfolio holder for Finance and Central Services. His council is not going to take up the government's offer of extra cash in return for not increasing council tax in 2012/13. Unfortunately, Cllr Kitcat is not the only pinhead in our town halls across the country.

According to a BBC report, an amazing 20% of councils may increase council tax from next spring. This is despite the government setting aside £805 million from efficiency savings to give to councils to ease our council tax burden. 

One of the main reasons cited in the Local Government Chronicle is that councils fear a sharp rise in council tax in 2013/14, when no government assistance will be available. Hardly the most convincing argument I've ever heard. Why should there be a sharp rise? What would cause it? As councils find efficiency savings, they are not going to suddenly spend more from 2013.

Over the last decade we have not seen the quality of council services double, but the same cannot be said of our council tax bills. We have highlighted in many TPA reports ways councils can reduce spending.

Not accepting the government's offer is wrong, and will unnecessarily increase the burden on families when they can least afford it. To threaten sharp rises for the following year is scaremongering, which is the last thing any of us need at this moment in time.

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