At their meeting tomorrow, the Executive Management Board of Powys County Council are considering recommending a Council Tax increase of 4.25%. In my opinion, this is unreasonable and unaffordable, and I've suggested to the Conservative Group on the Council that they should vote against such an increase. This unreasonable and unaffordable increase is being proposed by councillors who make up the Powys Lib Dem Alliance, which now agrees a position beforehand, and then 'whips' it through the full Council.
I accept that the below-inflation increase in financial support from the Assembly Government makes it very challenging for the County Council to keep the Council Tax increase to the level of inflation, which is what I would consider 'reasonable'. Every private sector organisation across Britain has had to find efficiencies and savings since the financial crisis enveloped us. Had there not been a General Election on the immediate horizon, the Westminster Government would have had to do the same. In any event, there will be a budget next May/June irrespective of the result, which will make spending reductions.
Tomorrow, the Powys Lib Dem Alliance should reconsider its proposal to pile all the pain on Powys Council Tax payers, and resolve to re-work the Council's budget, searching for cost reductions which result in a Council Tax increase no more than the level of inflation. A 4.25% is too much. The people of Powys cannot afford it.