Bexley council is very good at stealth taxes, both introducing new ones and
then raising them soon afterwards, their illegally imposed Controlled Parking Zone charges being just one example.
A man who runs a bar in a members only club told me he has to pay Bexley council £180 a year for the privilege, and he is right, I looked it up. £180 a year for an alcohol licence is in the middle of their scale of charges for licenced premises. When the council took over the job from the police the charge was £10 for ten years.
Putting a small levy on a pint of beer may be the least that Bexley council does to raid your pocket. Just wait until you buy a house. Not only does the chancellor do his best to kill the market with his punitive stamp duties, Boris Johnson and Teresa O’Neill have their hands in your pocket too. They call it the Community Infrastructure Levy.
All new Bexley homes, shops and offices south of the Bexleyheath railway line will be taxed at £60 a square metre (homes) and £100 a square metre (shops) in addition to the £20 currently imposed by Mayor Johnson. North of that railway line the charge by Bexley will be £40 a square metre.
Bexley council issued a press release (Beware! Word document) on the subject on 12th August and promised to put an explanation on their website on 19th August, hence this delayed announcement. The press release provided two links to where those explanations would appear but in typical Bexley fashion, 24 hours later, neither have done so. However, thanks to Google it has been discovered elsewhere (PDF).
There may be Conservative election leaflets currently coming through Bexley letter boxes to tell you how the council tax has been frozen but you will be hard pressed to find the admission that they have created a £40 million black hole. It has to be paid somehow, and Bexley council is nothing if not inventive.