A fillip for the Local Government Chronicle's campaign for Council Tax increases – in defiance of the Government's offer to fund a freeze.
They report (£) that Labour-run Nottingham will reject the freeze. Their concern is that taking the freeze would mean a big Council Tax rise the following year – which, of course, would be subject to a referendum which they would lose. Rejecting the freeze would mean a chance to spread the rise over two years and avoid the referendum.
A council spokesman says:
“The council’s medium term financial plan shows a structural shortfall in the amount of funding it needs to provide current levels of services. As a result, it is vitally important that the council carefully considers it options to securing funding to meet our citizens; needs.”
Band D Council Tax in Nottingham (£1,562.08) is already over £120 above the national average (£1,439). That margin is set to grow. Yet the council still refuses to publish its spending.
We do know that their councillor allowances are exceptionally high. The basic allowance is £11,581.68. I think that is higher than any of the 32 London boroughs – although the cost of living in the capital is higher. Their chief executive is on £242,907 a year followed by a long list of staff on six figure salaries. Yet the Council Tax burden hits the poor three times harder than the rich – when measured as a proportion of income.