Lewisham’s council tax increase could easily be around the 5% mark this year. Steve Bullock is being presented with a range of cost cutting measures to ensure that his council tax isn’t capped by central government.
Capping cuts in at 5%, which means that the current proposals must be looking close to or even over this figure. As inflation is running at about 2%-2.5% we could be faced with council tax increases twice the rate of inflation.
These tax increases hit the low paid and those on fixed incomes hardest, and the £200 rebate for the elderly was only an election year sweetener, they won’t be getting in next year.
We do not need these excessive levels of council tax to provide excellent services, in Conservative controlled Wandsworth public services are rated as “Excellent” and their council tax is almost half that of Lewisham.
Conservative run councils dominate the top of the local government performance tables and generally do so at lower cost than Lib Dem or Labour councils.
The levels of waste in Lewisham are unforgivable, just off the top of my head I can think of almost two million pounds spent on Ladywell Pool just months before announcing it would be demolished. Thousands of pounds on each road hump in Catford on roads that need to be re-surfaced soon anyway. Millions of pounds spent on external consultants instead of using the skills of council officers. There are many more I am sure, feel free to send me any examples.
It is very interesting to see that Matthew Hunchback (former Lewisham Lib Dem leader) feels that council tax increases should be higher. Care to visit the real world for an afternoon Matthew?