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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Local Government Finance Not Fit for Purpose

The most recent LGiU survey on local government finance found that 93% of respondents thought local government finance was "not fit for purpose".  A further 54% of them thought that their authorities were in danger of not being able to fund statutory services.

Most intend to partly meet this situation by raising Council Tax and increasing fees and charges.  This debate seems to have pretty much passed Brent by.  In Brent we have an odd situation where the Council has increased charges for poorer people _ for example by raising rents for social housing, adopting a 20% minimum for Council Tax Support, having a policy of generally increasing fees and charges by at least the rate of inflation _ but clinging to profligacy on certain symbolic issues.

The most obvious of these is the so called freeze on Council Tax, which was manoeuvred through the Labour Group.  However, it also applies to the various tinkerings with parking charges.  One wonders whether there is any logical principle involved here? 

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