Last week, Rutland’s Conservative leader, Councillor Oliver Hemsley, announced that he was quitting the Tories because of Government cuts to local authority funding. With year-on-year increases in Council Tax he said:
“The position we find ourselves in over Council Tax has been years in the making. We’ve had inequalities that have been compounded year on year and even though Government has been asked to look at this we have been ignored, side-lined and given no further improvements in our spending power.
“There are one-off fundings that appear and often are heralded as additional funding but are ring-fenced, repurposed, or borrowed from another budget. This is not nor can be a solution for the long term.” (Leicester Mercury, May 6)
The confused Tory leader evidently never realized that the Tories have always stood for socialism for the rich and austerity for everyone else. This stands in stark contrasts to what society really needs, which is socialism for all.
Councillor Hemsley it seems to have been confused for some time as earlier in the year he made similar complaints to the media explaining that:
“The way in which local councils are being funded by the Government is not fair on Council Tax payers – particularly here in Rutland. It’s also unsustainable.
“Up until 2015, councils were given a special government grant to freeze Council Tax. Since its withdrawal, our core funding from central government has been significantly reduced.
“Instead of this funding, the Government allows local authorities to raise Council Tax by as much as 5 per cent each year to pay for services.
“They call this our ‘spending power’ but it relies on councils applying the biggest possible rise in Council Tax year on year. Even then, this is not enough to match the rising cost of delivering services like caring for adults and children.
“This is because more people need our help and the rising costs of suppliers throughout the sector are being passed onto councils.” (Mercury, January 21)