From: John Gately, Harold Terrace, Battle
Stephen Hardy often has sensible things to say but he is wide of the mark in his criticism of Rother District Council’s poor performance in regard to Housing Benefit matters.
He blames this on the Conservative-controlled council’s reluctance to raise enough revenue by way of council tax.
Council tax is a lousy, regressive tax, payable regardless of anybody’s ability to afford it.
It is hardly any better than the poll tax it was designed to replace.
Council income used to come mainly from central government money raised through general taxation, which itself is collected on the general basis that the wealthier you are, the more you pay.
This was fair enough since most council spending is mandatory to comply with central government legislation.
This changed with George Osborne’s austerity measures under the coalition government, which set in train a year by year reduction in government payments to local authorities.
The result is that all councils are absolutely strapped for cash, but still have the same duties to carry out.
Remember this when you don’t like a library closing, or the grass not getting cut.
They haven’t got the money!
I am absolutely not a fan of the Tories in Rother Council, but in this they are less to blame than Stephen Hardy’s own Lib Dem party which supported the Conservatives in coalition under Osborne and Cameron, with disastrous consequences which are still coming to fruition.