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The truths they don't want you to read....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Council Tax Freeze

Is the long mooted council tax freeze A Good Thing? Well, yes and no, but for widely differing reasons.

A Good Thing?
  • The disproportionate leverage effect of having to raise any money locally has a severe impact in the Western Isles, and anything that stops that problem is to be welcomed
  • Obviously, it is good news for our pockets
  • As it paves the way for a Local Income Tax, it should be welcomed (but see my reservations on the introduction of such a policy)
  • Politically, it is a vote winner
A Bad Thing?
  • Fiscally, it is very expensive policy, which constrains future choices
  • It also raises expectations that a LIT will start at a lower level, when it is introduced, which has serious financial consequence
  • What has had to have been sacrificed to deliver this?

The Budget itself is 162 pages long, and until I have digested it all, I can only give a first impression, which is that it makes all the right noises, seems to hit many of the right targets, contain the predictable buzz-words and airy-fairy concepts, but be somewhat weak on specific detail.

All in all, I suspect it is a curate's egg, and we will have dig deeper to identify the real stories.

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