Friday, September 30, 2011

Cut salaries to save jobs?

The headline of this weeks News and Crier is a new pay restructure could save jobs. This is the route HDC seems to going down. But what does this tell me? From the headline and article it seems that Conservative run HDC is more interested in saving jobs than making real savings. So is it jobs first or savings first. I feel it is neither. I get the impression that HDC is more interested in saving jobs with my Council Tax.

Local Government is here to provide services to its residents. Government/Parliament decides the mandatory services and gives powers to provide other services. The Council Taxpayer picks up part of the tab with Government providing a large chunk of the rest.

With HDC facing problems over its budget and in the future forecast it is looking for between £1.1 million and a whopping £6 million of cuts, just on its own figures by keeping the New Homes Bonus, protecting jobs seems rather futile. The best option is for HDC to decide what it has to provide and at what level. In addition HDC should then decide what it wants to further provide and budget accordingly. The problem with salami slicing is keeping jobs becomes the priority and the services which go with those jobs. HDC's priority must be to provide those services that are needed and ensure they are adequately funded. Then HDC can have a dialogue with residents over whether residents are willing to fund non-statutory services through a much needed rise in Council Tax. Services first, Council taxpayers second and jobs last.

I know this is one of the last bastions of socialist utopia and the whole reason to be is the Council must provide services. The problem the Conservatives have is the years of being a low tax/high services council are over. The Conservatives need to decide whether they are a low cost/low tax authority or a high tax/high services authority and act accordingly.

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