17 November 2010

Cutting beyond the bone.......

So the economic terrorists have arrived at County Hall and they are definitely not taking any prisoners. But sadly, we are all hostages. We can't run because we live here whilst Ken and his crew of Central Office apparatchiks are determined to cut debt and they don't care who gets hurt in the process.

I've seen a few of the budgetary documents and they are stuffed full of the term 'pressure' which is their speak for 'we're gonna cut this'. On the other side of the 'balance sheet', there is the term 'risk' which usually describes the manner in which the community is going to pay for Ken and his chums slasherfest. So less road maintenance means more accidents. Reduced Social Services means more children at risk. Ken and his boys know that this is how the equation works and they know that there is going to be collateral damage - but it won't be them.

Now, what you need to be clear about is that whilst Ken is busy reducing services, he's not going to reduce the charges that he makes for less services. What he's going to do is keep your Council Tax exactly where it was, if not raise it. This means that Ken gets a peck on the cheek from his pal Osborne whilst we, the taxpayers, pay off the debt that County has accrued.

And there is a sting in the tail. Ken's boys are busy pointing out that the 'Precept Scam' is a way of Town and Parish Councils grabbing extra cash. Ken and his boys know that Town and Parish Council's aren't capped so they can increase their precept demands and use that money to buy the services that County isn't providing (but are charging for). In this way, the taxpayer is going to pay at least twice for services and probably get a second rate service from their Town and Parish Councils.

And all taxpayers need to consider this - just how qualified will Town and Parish Councils be to try and buy services that they have never bought before. Probably not very qualified and probably prone to getting it wrong. But there will always be your friendly Councillor who also jst happens to be a contractor who will be able to help out................

See you in the Poor House.