Thursday, February 19, 2015


It`s that time of year when the various local authorities and agencies are beginning to announce their Council Tax plans for the coming financial year.   The good news is that our local Parish Council has decided not to increase its precept at all this coming year but the less good news is that both the County Council and the local District Council are each raising their share of the Council Tax by 1.99%.   (Goodness knows what the Police and other `agencies` might do but it all adds up.)

Now 1.99% is something of a magic figure.   If the councils want to go just that bit further and make it 2% then they would have to call a referendum to see what us Council Taxpayers think about that.   So they have dodged that issue - some might call it a cop out - by sticking to the highest increase possible without the need for a referendum.  The downside of a referendum is that the councils would have to bear the costs of organising it which in turn would mean that the Council tax payers end up paying anyway. 

So I`m not too sure whether I`m in favour of the 1.99% tactic or whether I wouldn`t prefer a referendum anyway.  But one thing I do know is that I feel almost cheated by this financial and political sleight of hand; it smacks of a matter of convenience; all a bit sneaky.  Whatever it may be, I`m left with a feeling of being denied the opportunity to have a direct say about the council proposals.  In the absence of a referendum it`s reminiscent of the calls for a referendum on Britain`s membership of the EU, where we haven`t had a vote since 1974.

Once again I am reminded of the three great fibs of life - the cheque is in the post; I`ll respect you in the morning; and I`m from the council and I`m here to help you.

1 comment:

Ray Turner said...

It's how the current generation of Councillors and bureaucrats tend to think.

We should all remember this the next time there is an election, and take every opportunity to get rid of them.