UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The undeniable case for Council Tax increases

Even the Tory led LGA accepts that local government has taken the brunt of funding cuts. The slash and burn approach to revenue support grants mean the cuts are now exceeding a third of all council spending by a further 5%, taking the cuts from 28% to 33%. The council tax freeze is only exacerbating the problem.

A minor increase in council tax, spread over a 12 month collection period, will not have a huge impact on household budgets but, in council tax terms, the collective power of a council tax increase can make a huge difference to the local pot of money available to spend on local services. It is perfectly possible to protect the most vulnerable from any increases and equitably raise funds from those most able to pay.

The choice is now stark. We either find the money to support local council services or we will be forced to withdraw them. It is time the paucity of council leadership was challenged. We are not asking for a repeat of the gesture politics of the Hatton days in Liverpool but a resurrection of the municipal leadership that developed the concept of local councils supporting local people in the first place. If not now then when?

Anna Rose