Monday, December 12, 2011

St Neots pays "Stealth Taxes"

The Town council budget for 2012/13 brought one point to the fore. That is the amount of money the Town Council is now contributing because of HDC cuts. Lets remember that by ending a service and getting the Town Council to pick up the cost doesn't mean those costs go away for the Council taxpayer. Just they are charged by a different Council. In this case it is the Town Council.

In the 2012/13 budget the cost of HDC cuts are adding to the budget. The 2 public conveniences are costing £34,000. CCTV cameras (Town Council paying half the costs) £22,750. The Town Centre Initiative is costing an extra £10,000. This adds up to £66,750 or £6.17 per Band D Council taxpayer.

I feel I can argue that as SNTC has made provision to operate the toilets at South Street, the £15,000 allocated to run and maintain this facility should also be added to this list. This would make £81,750 a year that SNTC is paying for services formally run by HDC. This is essentially a Conservative Stealth Tax on the St Neots Council Taxpayer of £7.55 per Band D Council taxpayer.

It can be argued the Town Council has taken over these services. Yet when HDC made some of these cuts it was boasting at keeping their rise to 2.5%. In truth the Town Council is taxing us to provide these services. If these services weren't to be run by the Town Council but by the HDC this would save the Band D council taxpayer £7.55 a year.

The problems HDC face has been with them for coming up for a decade. Now, under the cover of coalition cuts, HDC is cutting.

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