OBSERVER: We’re hardly all in this together are we?


Over the past week or so various local and county councils have been detailing their forthcoming council tax rises – or not.

I can fully understand their reasons for not wishing to heap even more expense on ratepayers at this particular time but would question their motives for not putting at least something on the tax for the next year.

As it is at the moment, much of our infrastructure is suffering because of the lack of money available, so if councils wish to do something about it I don’t see why they shouldn’t.

Most are still accepting the government’s ‘contribution’ towards keeping the tax low, but the amount they receive I would suggest is not as much as they might get from putting an extra one per cent or two per cent on their current rate.

It seems a little perverse to me that councils are still ‘saving’ money; this only leads to more people losing their jobs, hence no longer contributing tax to the government coffers but in return receiving probably more back in benefits for being unemployed!

The Chancellor has announced his intention to seek a minimum pay increase to £7 an hour; within hours the CBI were lobbying to keep the rate as it is. If it was to rise, they said, more jobs would be cut and work sent abroad to make sure firms remained profitable.

In the meantime the Prime Minister has said he is not opposed to bankers and highly-paid business people – those earning probably £1 million or more a year – getting the same amount in bonuses, but he would ‘veto’ any further payment on top. Gee, thanks. Don’t forget most of these people get their salaries paid abroad so they don’t pay as much tax in this country.

The stock market is rising: who has most to gain from this? Mostly banks and investment institutions, but interest rates to investors are still very low. Banks were at the forefront in advising what price Royal Mail shares should be sold at; who got the bulk of the shares, in preference to the ordinary man in the street?