Last week I publicised my budget proposal to reduce annual Rugby Borough Council expenditure by £123,000. This idea would enable approximately a 2% reduction in council tax. Nearly three quarters of the savings I have identified are by reducing councillor allowances in line with other district councils in Warwickshire.
Taxpayers in the villages I represent are sure to question why the councillors who represent them are paid £1,700 more a year than the councillors who represent, for example, the nearby village of Eathorpe. There is no satisfactory answer.
No distracting claims over chief executive salaries or management arrangements explains why Rugby’s basic councillor allowances should be up to 27.7% higher than neighbouring authorities. So will the Town’s local political parties support my proposal? I hope so, and here is why my idea should command cross-party support:
- - The Conservative party should be attracted to an idea that will reduce the tax burden of the Town’s population. It reduces the amount of money spent by the state, giving greater freedom to individual citizens.
- - The Labour party should recognise that council tax is a regressive tax. It does not take into account the ability to pay. Ipso facto any reduction will benefit the Town’s poorest most.
- - The Liberal Democrats should buy into a proposal that reduces council tax because the general thrust accords with their national animosity to this method of taxation.
I look forward to debating my proposal at budget setting. As a fully costed, tax-cutting plan that preserves frontline services I believe it deserves to be seriously considered.