Archive for March, 2010

Havering Council Tax 2010

March 8, 2010

Last week, I got a Tory leaflet through my door boasting that there were reducing the council tax by 0.5%. I worked this out – it would benefit me by £9 for the whole year. That would just about buy me one pensioner’s lunch at my favourite country pub – but it wouldn’t leave anything over for my wife’s lunch, for the drinks, or for the transport to get us there!

In the event, the Tories had overstated their case and the amount later approved in full council is nearer £7.

Then I started to think. £7 or £9 to me for a whole year is vanishingly small, but represents around half a million pounds over the whole of the borough. I’m sure many of my fellow citizens could think of excellent uses to which this money could be put, just as I could. (As a governor of two schools, I am only too aware of how tight money is in council projects.)  If they couldn’t have found a good use for it, they could have put it in reserves, or against the money that is still lost in the Icelandic banking system.

Of course, it’s an election year and this was Tory spin at its  most blatant. They hope that we will see only the word reduction. They hope that we won’t work out how tiny it is for a household. Above all, they hope we won’t wonder how much this reduction cost them in terms of computer time and communicating with council taxpayers and banks.

Ian Sanderson