Council tax bills have just popped through our letterboxes, showing a 4% rise overall, including 4% increases for Devon County Council and EDDC, 2% for the police, and 11% for Seaton Town Council. These unwelcome rises are the result of the Conservative Government’s savage cuts to local government spending, which are forcing councils to tax more to keep services afloat. George Osborne will pretend that he has avoided tax increases – but he hasn’t, he’s just passed the parcel to councils and hopes voters will be stupid enough to blame them rather than him. He will also claim that this deep austerity is inevitable – but it isn’t, it’s a choice, which could be avoided by proper tax collection from multinationals and rich individuals, as well as perhaps by modest extra taxes (on property, rather than income?).
NB Seaton’s rise partly reflects the short-term costs of taking on the Town Hall and Marshlands at the same time, before income is realised from the latter.