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Showing posts from April, 2006


Next month Barnet council-taxpayers will be invited to go to the polls to elect their local council. The size and impact of the council tax will be the major issue at these elections, and the political parties have been hard at work reassuring us that council-tax rises are being kept as low as possible. Since the last local elections four years ago, the council tax in Barnet has risen by some 32.5 per cent - an average rise over over 8 per cent each year. These tax hikes are way beyond the annual rate of inflation, which is now less than two per cent per annum. The Conservatives, who have been in power throughout this period, argue that the increases are due to extra demands - precepts as they are technically known - made by the London Assembly and various other London-wide public services, such as the Metropolitan Police. In regard to these precepts the Tories argue that they have had no discretion - they must pass on the increases, collect the revenue, and send it to the precepting