Saturday, 10 January 2009

Barnet Council Tax rise below inflation again

This week Barnet Council's cabinet met to discuss the budget for the coming year. They are proposing a rise of 2.81%, well below the rate of inflation. Congratulations to Mike on keeping taxes rises down when the grants from government have been cut.

How have Labour and the Lib Dems reacted? As ever they are looking both ways at the same time. They berate Mike for having to raise tax at all, whilst complaining that services are being streamlined. They've also taken to criticising Mike for using the reserves to ease the burden on families. Given the raids on reserves when we had a Lib/Lab administration, this is rather rich. Doesn't it occur to them that the reserves are funds earmarked for a rainy day. Given the economic situation, surely that rainy day has arrived and families in Barnet deserve a break.

1 comment:

Statler and Waldorf said...

Statler and I can't believe that this is the same Mike "Zero Percent increase or I resign" Freer.

The spin coming out of this administration would shame Mandelson and Campbell. Mind you with staunch Conservatives, Vanessa Gearson and Stephen Shawcross running the Council's Communications department it is perhaps to be expected.

The Council Tax increase is 3.49%. Mike Freer has shoved £1,000,000 to 'max out' the Council's Credit Card to artificially and cynically reduce it to below the RPI of 3.0%. The Credit Card bill for Barnet Tax payers will come in next year, maybe after Freer has left. A kind of Buy Votes Pay Later deal.

The Conservatives rightly castigated and lampooned the last rotten Labour administration for raiding the reserves to keep Council Tax down as a gimmick. Freer slaughtered them for their Black Hole for years.

Now a series of bodged initiatives aimed at garnering voters have drained millions of of the reserves. What happened to Cameron's fiscal Conservatism?

Much as Statler and I want a lower Council tax, we are not impressed that we will have to pay even more next year.