Croydon Council and the Mayor of London cut Council Tax bills and Croydon Council offers residents £25 cash back
Most people are struggling with the cost of living at the moment. Many of us have seen our salaries cut in real terms, while household bills have continued to rise.
It’s therefore great to hear that my Conservative colleagues at Croydon Council and the Mayor of London are cutting Council Tax bills in 2014/15 and in addition Croydon Council will be giving residents who pay Council Tax £25 cash back in the form of a one-off reduction to your Council Tax bill. As a result, you’ll be paying 2 per cent less in 2014/15 than you’re paying this year - and almost exactly the same as you were paying four years ago when this Council was elected. For many people, Council Tax is their largest monthly bill so this will be a big help. If only the same were true of petrol prices or energy bills!
How have your councillors been able to do this? Through good financial management. When the recession started, they put aside some money to deal with the inevitable extra pressures on public spending (this is what Gordon Brown failed to do, which is why he left office with a record budget deficit). Now that the economy is recovering under this Government, they don’t need the money they haven’t spent and, given it’s ultimately your money, they’ve believe the right thing to do is to give it back.
The choice on 22nd May
Of course, all this is under threat on 22nd May when every seat on Croydon Council is up for election. The last time Labour ran Croydon Council they doubled your Council Tax bills - a family in a typical Band D home was paying £577.94 in today’s prices when they came to power in 1994/5 and £1,200.07 in 2006/7 when they were voted out of office (they’ll be paying £1,146.39 from April so over the eight years the Conservatives have been running Croydon Council, bills have been cut by nearly 4.5%).
And that was in the good times when they were getting more money from Gordon Brown every year! Who knows how much they would put bills up now the government is having to cut the money it gives councils each year as part of its efforts to clear up the mess Gordon Brown left behind. It’s not as if the Labour Party in Croydon has changed. The people who are in charge today are the same people who put your bills through the roof the last time they were in charge. So when you’re thinking about how to vote in the local election on 22nd May, ask yourself, “Can I afford another Labour Council?”