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

Monday, 28 January 2013

Council Tax freeze is an attack on local democracy

Tory local government Minister Eric Pickles vents spleen in the Daily Telegraph, accusing local authorities of being ‘democracy dodgers’ because they have the temerity to raise Council Tax below his centrally imposed 2% limit – to avoid triggering a costly referendum.

The whole point of local democracy is to elect local councillors to make choices on local service provision. The fact that councils are losing more than one-third of central government grant during the Coalition’s term of office leaves any self respecting councillors no alternative other than to increase revenues from Council Tax. Councils in England alone have cut £5 billion from budgets and abolished 230,000 jobs over the past two years.

It’s Con Dem carpet bombing of local democracy which councils are attempting to dodge but ever since his days as the hard right leader of Bradford Council, toy town demagogue Pickles has never let the truth get in the way of a populist headline: