Sunday, February 25, 2007

Council Tax set to rise by 3.5%

This week is budget week at the Council. What that actually means for us proles living in Greenwichgrad is that this week is the week the Council tells us by how much it will be increasing Council Tax. We hope people weren't expecting a decrease, that sort of thing only happens in West London.

We've learnt that the rise this year will be 3.5%. Technically it's actually 3% but the London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has decided he wants to take more out of the money the Council's raise. That means it becomes 3.5% when the Mayor's precept is factored in.

We might not mind a rise in Council Tax were it not that we knew they fail to collect around £5m of the tax each year, and are shockingly ranked 332 out of the 354 councils in England in terms of collection arrears. We expect the Council leader, Chris Roberts, will try to spin the increase as being lower than some other randomly chosen councils.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a born and bred Woolichite who was brought up with the idea that if you wanted something you had to work for it, hence I purchased my own house, having gone without holidays etc:, so could someone please tell me how it is possible to get away without paying council tax, for I am sure that if I were to default I would be taken to court quicker than that, with threats of bailiffs and all sorts.

1:08 pm  
Anonymous andrew said...

Surprise, surprise... another inflation-busting increase. Don't be fooled by all the rhetoric - this increases the likelihood of higher interest rates, meaning more financial pain for those with credit card debts or variable rate mortgages.

This is yet another example of how the Labour party has betrayed the working class.

9:35 am  
Blogger methers said...

Average Council Tax increases across England and Wales are going to be about 4.2%, RPI is at 4.2% - is a 3.5% increase in Greenwich such a bad thing?

But yes, I'd prefer it if Greenwich Council made a better job of collecting the Council Tax they are owed already.

9:25 am  
Anonymous andrew said...

Methers, to answer your question, "YES":

Chart of RPI vs. Council Tax increases 1993-2007

1:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the level of council tax is quite reasonable in Greenwich and the 2007 increaser in line with inflation. We have slipped from the 2nd highest council tax in London in the mid 1990s to the bottom third of Boroughs. That doesn't mean we can't do a lot more to drive it down and improve efficiency while still raising the level of service.

3:17 pm  
Anonymous Desperate Danny said...

anonymous - come on, which is it you're a member of? Labour Group or the Labour Party's Local Government Committee?

Of course, Greenwich Labour Group is a pretty large one by London standards (after the 2006 rout). Most of the 'leading lights' are familiar to here, but a cursory look at the council website reveals a list of elected 'members' whom have yet to grace here.

Would someone mind telling me what the following councillors are for?

Adams, Austen, Barwick, Freeman, Gillman, Hyland, McCarthy, Mardner, Mills, Morris, Mythen, Offord, Parker and Quibell.

A number of that list are women and ethnic minorities, the kind of people we always hear are needed in local government. Have these been sat on by the leadership or are they just bad adverts for that particular cause?

12:18 pm  

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