Here we go again. More council tax rises in store !

Most people in the street do not know that their local council is reliant on government grants for a large proportion of the council's income. Those same people don't realise just how much the government has squeezed the money it gives to councils whilst at the same time they are asking councils to do more and more. So it is easy to see why people get so fed up with rising council taxes each year.

This year, again, the fear is that councils will be forced to close more and more facilities and provide less services because the government are already intimating that funding will again be squeezed. The BBC reports on it HERE.

The sad thing is that for just a small fraction of the cost of the war in Iraq we could provide proper funding for councils so that they don't have to close or cut swimming pools, leisure centres and social services.

Luckily in North Norfolk, despite severe squeezes from the government, the Lib Dem council has done well to avoid large increases in council tax (I think we've had over the three years the lowest successive years of increase in council tax since its introduction in the early 1990's). But just to explain how daft the government's grant is, if North Norfolk received the same amount per head of population as Breckland (the neighbouring authority), North Norfolk could cut Council Tax by over 30%, and that isn't taking in to account that Breckland has to spend nothing on protecting the coastline !

Council tax and the whole system of grants from government which are worked out and distributed almost on a whim are crazy and the whole system needs to be replaced by a system based firmly on a person's ability to pay. This is clear and transparent and would make council's much more accountable to the electorate.

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