Latest Public Sector News

28.01.13

1.99% council tax rises are ‘cheating’ residents

Communities’ secretary Eric Pickles has accused councils of “dodging democracy” by not holding referendums on council tax rises.

Local authorities should hold a public vote before they raise taxes above 2%, ministers said. Pickles has indicated that this threshold could be lowered to force councils to freeze council tax.

At the moment, only around a third of councils have committed to this in the next financial year.

According to the Daily Telegraph, some councils have taken legal advice and chosen to increase taxes by 1.99%, something Pickles has decried.

He said: “What residents really want is cuts to taxes, not bin collections; potholes filled not pockets. Councils that put their people first, will get the idea.

“To those that don’t we’re sending out a message loud and clear. The days of the knee-jerk tax and spend hike are over.

“Those who put up their stealth tax by 1.99% in a bid to avoid our 2% referendum threshold need a reality check. We will take into consideration anybody cheating their taxpayers.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Image c. 401 (K) 2012

Comments

Christine Melsom   28/01/2013 at 13:02

I suppose the old adage 'there is no honour among thieves' should be applied here. Over the last couple of years many of the councils have been stuffing their reserves to the gunnels - with, let me say, taxpayers money- and then claiming foul. Again, many of these councils are those receiving the highest Government grant. Compare one Shire county, with district etc. (most of these are holding the tax down), receiving just £200 per head of population and a metropolitan receiving well over £600 per head. We maintain that there are rich and poor across the country and the claim that those living in the northern cities are necessarily any worse off during the present squeeze is spurious. We do acknowledge that there are areas which need more support, of course there are, but that extra support is out of all proportion. We in the shire counties are not all bankers and stockbrokers! For many of us the national average wage is a far off, unattainable dream. There are plenty on minimum wage, and jobs are hard to come by. At the same time, and particularly in the south, property prices and therefore living expenses are much higher with the result that very few youngsters have a chance of owning their own home; many can't even afford to rent and are forced to give up any idea of independence. Councl tax is of course due for a change, but until that happens, stick to the spirit of the game and freeze the tax for everyone.

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