Thursday, 28 February 2013

Paying more for less - Bradford Council's budget


The Labour Party - backed by fellow socialists in the Green Party - pushed through a budget that will raise council tax by 1.99%. Now, setting aside the cynicism of this particular increase, the truth is that such an increase wasn't needed. Even if the Council chose not to take the grant available to Bradford to freeze the tax.

Give or take a farthing, this increase raises around £5 million. And to get this in the context of the whole budget (some £1.3 billion) it is about 0.4% of the amount that Bradford actually spends. This - however you look at it - is little more than a rounding error. Even as a proportion of the net budget (defined as the difference between what we need to deliver services and the amount of non-tax income) it amounts to just a little over 1%.

To get a still clearer understanding, Bradford Council has underspent every year for the last three years - by as much as £16 million in one particular year. Regardless of the debate about resources, cuts and priorities there was absolutely no need at all to charge the Bradford public more money to receive less service.


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