We deserve an apology over council tax

PUBLISHED: 16:55 07 February 2007 | UPDATED: 10:10 31 May 2010

In a recent council statement, Cllr Barbara Hughes claimed that under the LibDems, Saffron Walden Town Council budget has only increased in line with inflation over the past four years. I was suspicious of this claim so checked their own figures. The bud

In a recent council statement, Cllr Barbara Hughes claimed that under the LibDems, Saffron Walden Town Council budget has only increased in line with inflation over the past four years.

I was suspicious of this claim so checked their own figures.

The budget for 2003/4 was set at £384,525. The LibDems' proposed budget for 2007/8 is £531,370. This represents a total increase of 38.2 per cent over the four-year period, which is substantially higher than the total rate of inflation of 11.9 per cent during the same four-year period.

Another way of looking at these increases is to take a look at the Band D Tax attributable to Saffron Walden Town Council. In the year 2003/4 the figure was £65.

In the current year, 2006/7, this had risen to £95.

This is a massive increase of 47.9 per cent, which again is way above the rate of inflation.

Even if the rate for 2007/8 remains static when announced, the four-year period will still remain well above the rate of inflation. Perhaps Cllr Hughes and her fellow LibDem councillors may have wished the rate of budget growth and the related tax increase had been in line with inflation.

Unfortunately their wishes and the reality are far apart, which is indeed unfortunate for those who have to pay these council taxes.

Instead of claiming credit for their imaginary achievement, Cllr Hughes and her colleagues owe us all an apology for this failure in their financial management.

Richard L Harrington

Saffron Walden

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