THE recent announcement of Council Tax increases by Cambridgeshire County Council and Huntingdonshire District Council show both councils’ contempt for the financial position of the people in this area, and that they have failed to fully implement threatened cuts in expenditure.
Articles in the national press state that more than 70 per cent of families are financially ‘on the edge’ with frozen or reduced income and the high cost of living.
It also demonstrates a divided Conservative party.
On one hand a Conservative led Coalition Government, with the Community Secretary, Conservative MP, Eric Pickles, have sought to freeze Council Tax bills by offering councils and extra grant to do so. This extra grant has been refused by both councils. This means that we, the taxpayers, are effectively paying twice, firstly as part of Government taxation and secondly as increased Council Tax.
Boris Johnson, Conservative Mayor of London, has pledged to slash Council Tax every year if he is re-elected. In addition the Conservatives in St Ives asked people to sign a petition against the Independent-led town council, imposing a tax increase, which has succeeded.
On the other hand we have the Conservative controlled county and district councils imposing increases totally at odds with Government wishes.
It is interesting to note that both councils are setting increases at a level which means they are not required by law to hold a referendum, which they would lose.
Our only option is a protest vote at the next council elections.
ANTHONY D BARRACLOUGH