Wednesday 28 December 2005

Will the last person to leave Dumfries please turn out the lights?

I keep a little spreadsheet at home that estimates my income and expenditure month by month for the coming year. This document gets updated every few days. At the moment, it shows a council tax payment of £180 per month (excluding the February and March break). From April I had increased the forecast payment to £185 - an extra 2.78%. It looks like I had under budgeted:
HOUSEHOLDERS face the prospect of two years of above-inflation council tax rises and cuts in services unless the Scottish Executive steps in to fill a £1 billion "black hole" in local authority funding.
This morning I upped the amount to £190 per month - a 5.56% increase. Hopefully that'll be enough.

But it wouldn't be in the county of my birth:

Last night, senior local government sources claimed that, faced with these increased burdens, at least one council - understood to be Dumfries and Galloway - was considering a council tax rise of up to 17 per cent.
Seventeen percent! To think that my late grandfather was a Dumfriesshire councillor.

The councils' spokesman says:

the only answer was more money from the Executive
The Executive blames the councils.

I note that the Dumfries Council is:

a Coalition of Independent, Liberal Democrat and SNP Councillors.
and that the local Conservatives
... have reached a common understanding with the Administration about Priorities, Projects and Principles and look to our contribution in Business Review and Performance activities and the scrutiny of service delivery at area level.
Well, I hope that David Cameron is watching Dumfries to see how the local Tories "scrutinise" the proposed 17% tax rise. Perhaps our David will have to send Bob Geldof to Dumfries to help the poor taxpayers. He'll need a map of the local lampposts and a good supply of rope.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Susan M Powell
owing to cuts the light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off

6 January 2006, 13:27:21 GMT
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News today that the Government in Westminster is planning "the biggest shake-up of local government for a generation". In England, county councils would be scrapped, with an emphasis on unitary councils which will in turn be required to pass many of the area's decisions on public spending to community councils of about 2000 people each. 
This seems like a half-way house to reducing taxes significantly in England by removing levels of governance. Economies are certainly needed - North Sea oil is running out and we seem to have a death-wish when it comes to competition with the rest of the world. On this theme, why are Holyrood so keen on costly over-governance?

29 December 2005, 18:46:15 GMT
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Andrew Ian Dodge
Well in Auburn, Maine the townspeople who were rather ticked off at trebling of their property taxes got out the flaming torches and went round the Mayor's house to express their displeasure. My source has yet to confirm if any pitchforks were involved.

29 December 2005, 13:04:03 GMT