Another post on Council Tax in Powys. To recap, the Conservative Group on the Council proposed that the increase be limited to 2%, while another group thought it should be 4%. (It was eventually agreed at 3%). Several people are accusing me and the group of 'posturing'. I have to admit this gets right up my nose. We thought long and hard about the position to take, and we felt that 2% was the responsible decision. I'm not going to criticise others for what they felt was responsible. Its just that we didn't agree with them. I've heard no-one say that we didn't argue our case well.
There are two basic considerations when deciding on the level of Council Tax. Firstly, there is the requirements of the Council to deliver services, and secondly there is the capacity of the people to pay. For the first time in my adult life, the people of Powys have less available money than the previous year. By April there will be a huge number of redundancies, much reduced hours work, much lower profits, and a much lower return on savings. Its also the case that inflation is likely to be below 2% throughout the next financial year. As it is, there are going to be many more people who just don't have the money to pay. I fully expect the number of people that the Council has to take legal action against to extract the money is going to rocket. In my opinion a 2% increase could have been justified..
We are not pretending that this is going to be easy. I have noted that most Councils in Scotland have actually frozen Council Tax at last year's level. Disagree with us by all means, but you can stuff your accusations of 'posturing'.