Saturday, February 14, 2009

AyeRight has a taxing time

Nobody likes paying taxes, all governments tinker with ways of raising tax, mainly to attract the majority of the electorate to vote for their party.

Taxes are never universally fair; depending where you swing from the tree of life there will always be one group or another who will pay more under one government, and less under another.

In Scotland our current SNP government set a
manifesto in 2007 in which they stated they would scrap council tax in favour of a fairer local tax. This hasn’t happened yet, but for the second year running we have seen a freeze on the amount of council tax we pay.

In theory this sounds good, more pounds in our pocket and our local councils having less of our money to fritter away on flowerpots or new road signs.

Through inflation the reality is that our councils have had a cut in monies for two years and have had to decide upon cuts in services in order to meet their new budgets.

The Highland Council revenue
budget reveals their planned spending cuts, all of which have been carried through bar (Thanks to Nairnites efforts) the closure of MacLean Court.

Scrutiny of the budget document reveals that several services currently providing for our more vulnerable citizens are frozen in terms of funding, or are going to be scaled back or closed.

Rather than having a freeze on council tax should the SNP have not allowed an inflation only increase, that way many services could have been saved?

In hindsight of this winter's weather one cutback brings a smile:

‘There has been a decline in the overall level of winter maintenance activity over the past number of years, with an overall reduction in the days of lying snow.

This proposal reduces the budget for winter maintenance, and proposes that where additional resources are required, the Winter Maintenance Emergency Fund (currently around £1.4 million) is used to cover any budget overspend’.

And if we thought our pavements were slippy this year!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha!- the icy pavements could be very treacherous for some councillors if MacLean court doesn't stay open

Votes might even slide all over the place at the next elections!