Friday, February 06, 2009

The Snow - Best Place To Bury Bad News



There are reports today that council tax is expected to rise by 3.5% and the information has been accidently 'leaked' out.

A couple of things about this are rather smelly.

Firstly, this number comes from papers which are to be used at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday when a decision will be made. Surely no decision will be made about the final figure until the meeting? Otherwise the process is a farce if, behind closed doors, an agreement about the number has been made, the meeting would be rather pointless.

Secondly, when Shirley Ludford on Swindon 105.5 mentioned the story in a phone interview with councillor Nick Martin this morning, his response was, "oh, it's been leaked out, has it?" Now the cynic in me thought he sounded not-at-all surprised. But maybe that's the view you get of leaks of information when you've been in office as long as Mr Martin has.

Thirdly, is this a preemptive 'lets make the figure worse than it is, then come in with a lower one, the real one, to everyone's relief and be seen in good light for manipulating people's expectations' ploy?

Swindon Centric Says ; A genuine leak? An 'authorised one? A political spinning of the council tax?

Which one is it? We'll have to wait until the thaw to see what's under the snow.

2 comments:

komadori said...

Seems fairly odourless to me. Take the £3.8M increase in council tax proposed in the draft budget, subtract £1.1M increased council tax income due to new housing (that figure also from the draft budget), then divide all that by the £74.4M of council tax income this year. Gives a figure of 3.6%, which I think you’ll agree is close to 3.5%. So, no leaking, just a bit of digging amongst published council documents.

mockney said...

Thank you for the numbers, breaks things down simply, which is always a plus where taxes are concerned.