Much glee in Labour-run Rochdale Council today at the prospect of of being able to impose a 3.5% increase in Council Tax. The council itself can't increase council tax by more than 2% without
triggering a referendum. However they believe they have spotted a loophole. This threshold doesn't apply to precepts or levies which the council does not directly control.
What is happening is the unelected Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority is planning a 19% increase in its levy, and the unelected Transport for Greater Manchester a 5.8% increase. The decisions are made by (mostly Labour) councillors appointed from the local authorities that constitute their membership. A satisfactory arrangement for the councillors who are paid an array of special responsibility allowances to sit on the assorted committees.
They also seem to regard it as a chance to have their revenge on their Council Taxpayers by imposing whatever level of tax increase they feel like. They must not get away with it. The Government must ensure that the referendum veto applies to Council Tax levies from these outfits as well. In fact the argument is even stronger with these regional Quangos than with local councils.