Saturday, June 23, 2007

Here's A Funny Thing

The joke's wearing very thin

Much coverage this morning of the Halifax report which once again highlights the burden of Council Tax:
  • The average bill in Great Britain has increased by 91% over the past decade

  • That's three times faster than inflation (RPI is up 31%)

  • The average council tax per dwelling in 2007-08 is £1,078 compared to £564 in 1997-98

All of which is pretty unamusing. But nothing compared to the "jokes" that follow.

Did you know that none of the top ten charging councils is Labour? The very highest one (Richmond on Thames on £1,665) is Lib Dem. The others comprise seven Tory, one LD, and one NOC.
Contrast that with the ten lowest charging councils. No fewer than five of them are Labour (four Welsh councils and Manchester).
Why the difference? Yes that's right, it's the old Revenue Support Grant again, the central government funding system which takes money from Tory and LibDem areas and gives it to Labour areas (see this blog).
Sensationally, despite this notorious built-in bias of the RSG, the very lowest charging council is still good old Tory Wandsworth (£641), longtime favourite of the Iron Lady and a shining example of what councils can achieve in terms of taxpayer value if they put their minds to it.

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