Friday, 5 December 2008

Unsustainable Growth

Two in three local authorities are planning council tax rises to cover sudden growth in population, a study has revealed.

They say they will increase the size of bills to cover the extra demands on public services, including schools, hospitals and transport.

Councils are also being forced into the unpopular position of raising charges for services - or making cuts.
There’s a baby boom, all of a sudden?

Not quite:
Two thirds of local authorities plan to up council tax bills to cover increasing demands on public services from an influx of migrants.
Ahhh, the ‘influx of migrants’ that Labour were quick to pooh-pooh as nothing more than ‘Little Englander hysteria’.
Critics say taxpayers are being hit in the pocket because the Government woefully underestimated the influx of migrants to the UK. More than 700,000 immigrants have arrived since 2004.
Meanwhile, public funding has dried up because of the economic crisis.

Over 80 per cent of local authorities blamed changes in their population, including the massive rise in immigration when former Soviet Bloc countries joined the European Union, for planned council tax hikes.
Yeah, that's not going to put any cats among any pigeons, is it...?
The study, co-written by the Centre for Business and Economic Research, showed an alarming 67 per cent of council leaders planned to bump up charges, for instance for use of sport centres or libraries, to make up the shortfall.
So, Labour fudged the figures, were asleep at the switch, and then screwed the economy? Be hard to see them wriggle out of this one, but I’m sure they’ll give it a try…
Russell Hobby, associate director of the Hay Group, which helped carry out the study, said: 'The demand for public services is potentially infinite.

'In the current climate, frontline leaders need to negotiate a new contract with the communities they serve, in order to match public expectations with the resources available.

'This needs to be based on straight-talking about costs and sacrifices.'
Aha, there’s a recipient of Nu Lab’s training in obfuscation and management-speak! ‘Negotiate a new contract’..? ‘People they serve’..? ‘Costs and sacrifices’..? I know the words, but their use is unfamiliar.

What they mean, when drilled down to basics, is that we are all screwed…

3 comments:

Stan said...

'The demand for public services is potentially infinite."

Apart from the fact that this statement is obviously incorrect there is the issue that public services are limited by the resoureces and resources are limited to what people are prepared to pay and what they are prepared to pay for.

Rob said...

I thought the Left was saying the immigrants are returning to Eastern Europe because of the recession?

As for 'negotiation', I doubt there will be much of that. You'll get a higher council tax bill, you attempt to negotiate it to a lower one, you are told to pay or go to prison.

JuliaM said...

"..resources are limited to what people are prepared to pay and what they are prepared to pay for."

Not in the cozy, cloistered world of the government quango. There, it seems, public money is infinite...

"I thought the Left was saying the immigrants are returning to Eastern Europe because of the recession?"

If the numbers of early morning Polish-speaking building workers on my morning commute are anything to go by, there's been no appreciable differance.