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News and Comment September 2012

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28 September (Part 1) - Where’s the money gone?

Frozen for two yearsThere is one part of Teresa O’Neill’s propaganda sheet that is almost true. The bit about Council Tax. Not absolutely true of course, that would be asking too much. Teresa’s claim that “Bexley’s Conservatives have frozen your Council Tax Bill for three years in a row” is another of her lies. Only a little one this time, for the increase three years ago was quite small. On the other hand the last time Labour was in charge of Bexley, taxes indisputably shot up by 40%. That’s what Labour does but the occasional reminder is not out of place.

When I was buying my first house along came Harold Wilson to devalue the pound in my pocket and Denis Healey had to bring in the International Monetary Fund. When I was raising two children Jim Callaghan set the scene for a 27% inflation rate. I recall buying Christmas presents in May because I might not be able to afford them in December and more recently along came Blair and Brown to wreck my pension and savings. Ed Milliband may show signs of having learned the lesson but I’m not so sure of his cronies. So Labour in Bexley robbed you rotten; where’s the money gone? The Tories are still raking in that 40% extra every year.

My guess is that the borough got so ‘fat’ spending it, it just cannot slim down, it enjoys spending our money and doesn’t want to set the clock back. Will Tuckley’s salary comes to mind as a prime example of wanton extravagance.

Inflation in recent years has hovered around the 3% mark which is what the Government’s inducement to councils to freeze the tax rates has been each year, so covering inflation has been largely taken care of by government. Has the cut back in the grant really been as much as 40% to justify hanging on to Labour levels of taxation? Why the need to cut £35m. from services to maintain the status quo on tax? Yesterday I got hold of a copy of the 2011/12 Accounts. Maybe after I have waded through it I will understand better why Bexley’s Conservatives are taxing us even more than Labour did in 2006. Once upon a time Bexley council had the third lowest tax level in London. Now it is close to highest.
40% increase


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