Remorseless rise in council tax

Coun Russell Holland infers that he has no sense of guilt in recommending a planned 4.99 per cent rise in Council Tax this despite inflation in September 2020 being a mere 0.7 per cent with a twelve month average of 0.5 per cent.

Just imagine what Coun Holland would be asking for if the inflation figures were in the region of 4 or 5 per cent.

The so-called justification for the huge rise is said to be as a result of the extra spending on adult social care, and the council’s obligation towards young people. This is the same tired old argument used in years past.

What Swindon residents have witnessed over the past decade is a remorseless rise in Council tax with the Government aiding and abetting the council by changing the rules to allow rises without the need for a people’s referendum.

It wasn’t that long ago when the maximum a council could increase its tax take was 2.99 per cent with the proviso that any increase beyond this amount must be put to a referendum.

In recent years the Government has introduced ring fenced increases to cover adult social care, the latest is another one per cent.

Such increases allow central government to delay even further its manifesto promise to introduce a national social care package.

It also places the burden squarely on the shoulders of local taxpayers while denying them the opportunity to actually have a say by way of a referendum.

Since 2016 the council has used the powers given under the relevant Act to increase Council Tax to the limit allowed without the need to hold a referendum, a decision which demonstrates their rank cowardice and not a wish to properly fund adult social care.

The simple truth is that the administration is not confident that they would receive the backing of a majority of residents to raise the funds they say are required. It is for this reason they rely upon the Government to increase the precept by one per cent per annum.

Only one referendum has taken place to date.

The Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner proposed a 15.8 per cent increase in council tax for 2015-16.

The poll saw 90 per cent of tax payers voting against the increase. I feel sure politicians are well aware that they will never convince the public that higher taxes equal better services.

It is a little rich of the Labour Party to complain as I am sure they would do exactly the same, and I am fairly certain Labour members will ‘nod through’ any renewal of the legislation during the coming year.

Des Morgan

Caraway Drive

Little to laugh about

Before these draconian government-ordered house arrests, with few exceptions. I normally went out four nights a week socialising. Not to mention my now denied regular trips to our seaside’s.

On that basis I have had little to laugh about recently. After watching a programme on a fellow Glaswegian tonight I haven’t stopped laughing. Namely Stanley Baxter Let me hope to cheer everybody up. Parliamo Glasgow, Stanley’s finest work.

Howabootabrekboris. Translation. Easy up on our freedoms Prime Minister. Gaunagiezabevvy. Translation. Please upon the pubs again Prime Minister. Younoginoot. Translation. Prime Minister release us from house arrest. Layaffyanaff. Give us a break Mr Hancock. Howabootit. Translation. Are you listening MPs now costing us £240,000 each per year. Nice work if you can get.

Bill Williams

Merlin Way