Thursday, 15 December 2011

De Nada, Nowt, Zero

Nowt added to council tax from t' county!

Whichever way you say it that is the council tax rise passed for hard pressed council tax payer’s at the county council level. I was listening to some people at the bus station the other day who seemed to think the county were pushing up their bills. I had to jump in and correct them! Northumberland Lib Dems have made history by not increasing the Council Tax this year. Despite having to make large cuts to balance the budget, I completely endorsed the approach. I have always opposed Council Tax as an unfair tax. It hits people on the bottom end of the income scale, such as pensioners and young families, hardest. Everyone is having a hard time of it at the moment and this is a very fair decision.

At the last local elections, I pledged not to vote for increases in council tax above inflation, which they have honoured. Although inflation in September (the level at which council tax is judged against) was 5.2% I hope we can freeze the Council tax at the county level again. The bad news is that the Town Council will likely push up the small element of the precept they control, as they are taking on new responsibilities. I hope however that they don't increase the already substantial administration budget, which is well over 20% of the Town councils costs.

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