Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Council Tax Through The Roof Again

The Council Tax increase has been confirmed at 3.4%. Only the LibDems could consider this a good news story, yet they gamely tried to justify it.

We were told that each of the neighbouring councils had bigger increases. This is true, though not the whole picture. Residents in Croydon, Merton and Surrey - all Conservative Councils - still pay far less that we do here in Sutton. One neighbour, Kingston not only had the third highest rise in London but retains the crown of having the highest tax burden of any London Borough. I'll leave you to guess who runs that Council (clue: same party as Richmond, the second highest tax bill in London).

Croydon residents know what they are getting for their extra money. £1.5m is being invested in extra policing and £4.75m is going into recycling initiatives including recycling facilities for every block of flats in Croydon, something we have failed to do in this Borough which sells its green virtues at every opportunity. Excluding flats means that a massive proportion of the residents in Sutton simply cannot recycle very easily. It also pushes the onus onto householders to meet targets that the Council sets.

This budget is merely treading water offering nothing new for residents except bigger bills. At the same time residents in Hammersmith and Fulham are seeing their bills cut by 3% for the second year in a row, there is a freeze for pensioners' bills in Hillingdon. Wandsworth and Westminster residents continue to pay just one-third of the amount than we do.

4 comments:

Cllr David Pickles said...

The question of council-tax rates has always been a thorny issue here. True this is the lowest rise for some time from the Lib-Dems, but it comes from a very high base. It would be wonderful to know if they are finally learning the lesson, and easing down on rises before going into negative mode. Er.......hold on - they WILL go into negative mode either next year of 2010 because........there's an election due in May 2010! Now why didn't I think of that.

simon said...

I don't know anything about the high politics of it all but all I do know is that I'm paying more tax and not seeing any significant difference in what I'm getting out of it.

A bit fed up to be honest.

Cllr David Pickles said...

Simon - if we were to leave the EU and have a UKIP presence in London (apart for me!), then one of our policies is to scrap the GLA. That would mean that each household could immediately save £300 per annum on council tax. This has been fully costed by Professor Tim Congdon of the London School of Economics and is an official UKIP policy.

Tim Aker said...

Dear Cllr Scully,

The TaxPayers' Alliance is lobbying to stop Sutton Council giving £10,000 more taxpayers' money (on the back of Council Tax rises) to council chiefs as reported in the Sutton Guardian today.

http://tpa.typepad.com/campaign/2008/03/sutton-council.html

Any help you can provide in opposing this measure will be most welcome.

Best wishes,

Tim Aker
Grassroots Coordinator
The TaxPayers' Alliance
www.taxpayersalliance.com