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Cuts, council tax and local democracy

June 16, 2010

The big beasts of the centre-right stir into life before the budget. Policy Exchange argues that George Osborne should cut the £50 billion middle-class welfare bill. Reform agrees and goes further. It argues for a radical streamlining of public services and, interestingly, funding a greater proportion of local government services from council tax. They argue that this would give local taxpayers a greater incentive to hold councils to account. I think that they’re right. The current mix of local taxation and central government subsidy leaves voters confused about what their council tax pays for. There is no sense that paying council tax funds care for the elderly, services for vulnerable children and safe and clean streets. In fact you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only thing that council tax pays for is equalities officers and other “politically correct non-jobs” as they’re inevitably referred to. Eric Pickles has said he’s committed to “localism, localism, localism”. Reform’s report is a reminder that, if he’s serious, his review of local government finance must be radical and wide-ranging.

One Comment leave one →
  1. margaret cliff permalink
    June 18, 2010 8:57 pm

    Why not cut the councilor’s pay/expenses I am disgusted at the level of expenses put in by so called councilors who care about US but they are living off US how do they excuse claims of 60K to over 100k in some cases and I could name some councilors who also have their families working as local councilors these quangos should go 1st and maybe the council tax might be more manageable then we would only be paying for the services we ought to be paying for??? in LEEDS we know who they are and hope someone stops their abuse of this system

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