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> Surrey confirms plans to raise council tax by 15%, What would you vote if West Berks did the same?
Biker1
post Jan 21 2017, 07:19 PM
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Personally I would not vote for this unless I could scrutinise current council spending and be convinced that current taxes were being spent in what I would consider the right places and that the necessary economies had been made.
Comparing with a domestic situation, upon finding that your income did not meet your expenditure I find it unlikely that your employer would agree to a 15% pay rise?
You would instead have to reorganise your finances, yes?
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newres
post Jan 21 2017, 07:50 PM
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Interesting article here.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/ja...ise-social-care
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Biker1
post Jan 21 2017, 08:00 PM
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Interesting, but will / can it be implemented without a referendum as it is above the government's permitted rise threshold?
I would predict the majority will vote against such a steep rise, so what then?
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newres
post Jan 21 2017, 09:37 PM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Jan 21 2017, 08:00 PM) *
Interesting, but will / can it be implemented without a referendum as it is above the government's permitted rise threshold?
I would predict the majority will vote against such a steep rise, so what then?

Would you vote again knowing they are a Tory council, have made already enormous savings, but the cuts imposed by central government mean that they can't meet their obligations without the raise? I wouldn't be keen to pay 15% more either, but on the face of it their case is compelling.

"Hodge said his council had made £450m in savings since 2010, and was on track to save £700m by 2020, with demand for social care rising all the time."
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On the edge
post Jan 21 2017, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE (newres @ Jan 21 2017, 09:37 PM) *
Would you vote again knowing they are a Tory council, have made already enormous savings, but the cuts imposed by central government mean that they can't meet their obligations without the raise? I wouldn't be keen to pay 15% more either, but on the face of it their case is compelling.

"Hodge said his council had made £450m in savings since 2010, and was on track to save £700m by 2020, with demand for social care rising all the time."


Given the similar political complexion of HMG and Surrey County Council; I smell a rat. There is an answer to Surrey's problem of course, but Unison certainly won't like it.


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Biker1
post Jan 22 2017, 09:39 AM
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15%?!!
Look at the hoo-ha over 1-2% rise in rail fares!
I think the nub is that people rarely, if ever, vote for a tax rise.
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Andy Capp
post Jan 22 2017, 10:31 AM
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I see a no vote as the council being given a mandate to make further cuts it doesn't want to make.
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On the edge
post Jan 22 2017, 04:30 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Jan 22 2017, 10:31 AM) *
I see a no vote as the council being given a mandate to make further cuts it doesn't want to make.


If it's a Tory controlled Council, it should say 'pretends it doesn't want to make'.

Perhaps it's high time the idea that voters would have far more influence if they simply spoilt their ballot paper by adding a 'none of these' box. It really does disturb them!


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Simon Kirby
post Jan 22 2017, 06:18 PM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Jan 22 2017, 09:39 AM) *
15%?!!
Look at the hoo-ha over 1-2% rise in rail fares!
I think the nub is that people rarely, if ever, vote for a tax rise.

Council services need to be paid for, I applaud what they've done and it's shameful that the WBC Tory administration has not done the same. Society needs public services; the provision of public services is a pretty good working definition of what society is. I especially don't want to see public services to vulnerable people slashed. However, I feel like I'm already paying plenty of tax and I'd first like to see the parishes pared-back to basics and their precepts applied to something more deserving than flag-poles and a new hat for the mayor.


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user23
post Jan 22 2017, 07:19 PM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Jan 21 2017, 07:19 PM) *
Personally I would not vote for this unless I could scrutinise current council spending and be convinced that current taxes were being spent in what I would consider the right places and that the necessary economies had been made.
Comparing with a domestic situation, upon finding that your income did not meet your expenditure I find it unlikely that your employer would agree to a 15% pay rise?
You would instead have to reorganise your finances, yes?
Yes you're right, however reorganising their finances will mean cutting back on social care and other services.

They've calculated how much they need to raise council tax by not to have to do this, and they're obliged to give people the choice through a referendum as it's over the 3.99% threshold.

As for scrutiniszing their finances, you can see everything they spent over £500 here.
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On the edge
post Jan 22 2017, 07:48 PM
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Quite facinating, then there is the Oxfordshire idea, which is apparently to have one unitary authority for the whole area because it's cheaper, more efficient and far less confusing for the public! Of course, 'fact based evidence' from good old West Berkshire shows that is all utter nonsense.

A perfect storm is brewing!


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user23
post Jan 22 2017, 08:19 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jan 22 2017, 07:48 PM) *
Quite facinating, then there is the Oxfordshire idea, which is apparently to have one unitary authority for the whole area because it's cheaper, more efficient and far less confusing for the public! Of course, 'fact based evidence' from good old West Berkshire shows that is all utter nonsense.

A perfect storm is brewing!
Apparently the plan in Oxfordshire is for "Unitary Districts", much like Berkshire.
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x2lls
post Jan 22 2017, 09:43 PM
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Is there now a situation, whereby those can ill afford a rise in the precept, get dragged into an increase of their outgoings, based on those of the population that said yes, can feel to be 'honorable', can afford to pay the extra, and don't need the financial support required?


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On the edge
post Jan 22 2017, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Jan 22 2017, 08:19 PM) *


Quite!

Unbelievable, like suggesting John Lewis should make Sir Philip Green CEO.


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blackdog
post Jan 22 2017, 11:23 PM
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QUOTE (newres @ Jan 21 2017, 09:37 PM) *
"Hodge said his council had made £450m in savings since 2010, and was on track to save £700m by 2020, with demand for social care rising all the time."


£450m is a lot of savings, but, in terms of an budget of £1.68billion (after the cuts) and spread over 7 years it's not quite such an impressive performance. I can't find the equivalent figure for West Berks, but I suspect it might be a higher proportion of their 2017 budget.
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Simon Kirby
post Jan 23 2017, 08:16 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jan 22 2017, 11:23 PM) *
£450m is a lot of savings, but, in terms of an budget of £1.68billion (after the cuts) and spread over 7 years it's not quite such an impressive performance. I can't find the equivalent figure for West Berks, but I suspect it might be a higher proportion of their 2017 budget.

You say "savings", and that obviously play well to a Tory audience, but what we're actually talking about is slashing the provision of social service.


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JeffG
post Jan 23 2017, 09:27 AM
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QUOTE (x2lls @ Jan 22 2017, 09:43 PM) *
Is there now a situation, whereby those can ill afford a rise in the precept, get dragged into an increase of their outgoings, based on those of the population that said yes, can feel to be 'honorable', can afford to pay the extra, and don't need the financial support required?

You mean like the way nearly half the country was dragged out of the EU against their will? It's just democracy at work, innit?
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blackdog
post Jan 23 2017, 09:31 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Jan 23 2017, 08:16 AM) *
You say "savings", and that obviously play well to a Tory audience, but what we're actually talking about is slashing the provision of social service.

I followed the theme of the quote - but, yes, savings are cuts and cuts are savings. And, since everything a local council does is provide social services that's what's being cut.

However, this year's budget is the first to be set since 2010 that is lower than the 2010 figure.

I have found rough details of the WBC cuts since 2010 and have a figure of £43.2m - in terms of a £120m annual budget it is significantly higher than the Surrey cuts over the same period (£450m from a £1,600m annual budget).

Putting it another way Surrey spends around £1400 for each person in the county, West Berks spends £780.

Surrey gets £122 a head in government grant, WBC gets £61.

If WBC could spend £1400 per head all the cuts would be history, even getting the same grant would mean another £9.5m to spend.

Either West Berks is much more efficient or significantly stingier than Surrey!

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je suis Charlie
post Jan 23 2017, 09:39 AM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Jan 23 2017, 09:27 AM) *
You mean like the way nearly half the country was dragged out of the EU against their will? It's just democracy at work, innit?

Or, over half the country was being forced to remain against their will.


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QUOTE (newres @ Jan 25 2019, 06:47 AM) *
Isn’t it obvious? She's just an uppity.
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On the edge
post Jan 23 2017, 09:55 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jan 23 2017, 09:31 AM) *
I followed the theme of the quote - but, yes, savings are cuts and cuts are savings. And, since everything a local council does is provide social services that's what's being cut.

However, this year's budget is the first to be set since 2010 that is lower than the 2010 figure.

I have found rough details of the WBC cuts since 2010 and have a figure of £43.2m - in terms of a £120m annual budget it is significantly higher than the Surrey cuts over the same period (£450m from a £1,600m annual budget).

Putting it another way Surrey spends around £1400 for each person in the county, West Berks spends £780.

Surrey gets £122 a head in government grant, WBC gets £61.

If WBC could spend £1400 per head all the cuts would be history, even getting the same grant would mean another £9.5m to spend.

Either West Berks is much more efficient or significantly stingier than Surrey!


So, if we boil this down, it's just more evidence that local government in the UK is a complete mess. It is also clear evidence that the Government wants to end this nonsense and eliminate management of 'services' locally. The Tories see this as a means to finally abolish the public sector and for Labour, their ethos is naturally centralisation. Do it properly and the logical way to abolish local taxation in such a small country becomes acceptable to the electorate. So, let the storm rage and the punters will be begging for it.




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