Like many politicians, Cllr Maynard is being economical with the truth when he gives his reasons to justify the proposed new charges for green waste disposal.
As he well knows, residents paying the middle and higher bands of council tax actually make no more demands on council services than those in the lower bands - they don’t need more school places, don’t use more police resources, don’t have more health or welfare problems, don’t cause more litter and graffiti, and so on.
In fact, green waste is one of the very few areas (and a very inexpensive one at that) where they might benefit.
Council tax levels are based, not on the services actually consumed at the local level, but on a person’s ability to pay, as reflected in the type of accomodation they live in - the nicer the house, the more they will be charged.
It’s a policy decreed by successive governments, and, probably like most council tax payers, it’s an arrangement that I find generally fair and acceptable. But if Cllr Maynard really wishes to make users of the various council services pay for them directly, then - like most middle and higher tax band payers - I should welcome it because I would then be substantially better off. However, I do question the councillor’s real commitment to this policy of “fairness”, since I don’t recall him saying that he will actually cut the tax bills of those who don’t have gardens - he just proposes to keep all the money, but charge those with gardens a second time for providing the self-same service. In other words, a stealth tax!
More worryingly, if Rother is able to start double-charging for many of the services we are already paying for, does that not ride roughshod over this Government’s pledge to cap council tax rises to a level that ordinary people can afford. Perhaps our MP would like to comment, and ensure that Parliament’s considered intentions are not ignored by the likes of Cllr Maynard.
The Stream, Beckley