It was disappointing to see that Salford’s council approved their proposed budget today. The upshot for regular council tax payers such as myself is an increase of 3.5% which sees all of the council tax bands in Salford rise to over £1,000 (regardless of house size) for the first time.
The Council’s own website likes to point out that “the council tax rise is amongst the lowest”, but a quick check on The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s website proves that in 2008-2009, Salford had one of the highest Council Tax charges in the Greater Manchester Area (only being beaten by Oldham, which had actually reduced their Council Tax, not increased it).
It’s all very well saying the increase is one of the lowest, but when the actual cost was already one of the highest in the country to begin with, that’s hardly a comfort.
The pill is even harder to swallow when The Manchester Evening News today revealed that Salford Council spent £5m on various consultants and a fee to KPMG of £158,000 for advice on how to save money. Coming at a time when the Council’s balance sheet reveals they underspent to the tune of £500,000 on elderly care, it’s clear that Labour has got their spending priorities all wrong.
Instead of laying off hard working Council employees, it’s the fat cats at the top that should take a pay cut – with an end to stupid amounts spent on consultants and marketing.