Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Council Budget: Guest Blogger

Here is a guest post from Labour Cllr Sarh Hacker about last night's meeting at Reading Council.

Cllr Sarah Hacker
"Our budget has been passed.

Well, back from the Council meeting where the budget was passed with full support from all parties, apart from the Greens.

The Greens put forward a motion to increase the Council Tax by 3.5%, following what the Green council in Brighton have done. Strangely, they didn't say what this rise would pay for. This amendment to the budget was rejected.

Times are hard. Many people have already lost their working tax credits, with more to follow. Food prices are going up, energy prices are on the rise, petrol is getting more expensive again. If you get a payrise, it is likely to be below inflation making it, effectively, a paycut. Many people aren't getting a payrise at all and, with unemployment rising, people are facing the possibility of not having a job at all.

With costs rising faster than pay people are struggling. I know people who are having to decide between heating and food so, when offered the choice of no Council Tax rise, or a rise of 3.5%, I know what most people would go for and it's not with the Greens."
Thank you Sarah. You can find Sarah's blog site here.
PS. The Council budget was amended to remove the proposed 25% increase in the cost of a 2nd Residents' Parking Permit - something I lobbied hard about. I'm happy to acknowledge that was also something the LibDems wanted: gosh, is that why I'm described as an "independent thinker"!

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