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Devon County Council to hike council tax by two per cent as govt slashes budget by £28m

Wednesday, 06 January 2016 4 Comments by Claire

Devon County Council is set to increase council tax by two per cent this year, as it tries to manage yet another massive funding cut from central government of £28m.

I loathe the idea of raising council tax in such hard times, however, I am putting the blame squarely at the government’s door for this.

The revenue expected to be raised from the council tax rise of 2 per cent, is a drop in the ocean compared to the cuts for this year, which amount to £28m.

What we are now seeing is a situation where residents are paying more every year for ever decreasing services. And this will continue as the Conservatives continue to shrink the state.

Legal tax avoidance by big business costs the country tens of billions of pounds every year, but the government shows no signs of tackling this.  Why not?

I really hope that East Devon’s MP, Hugo Swire, will back the residents of Devon in the House of Commons local government settlement debate next month and speak and vote against it.

Here’s the press release -


1. At 01:13 pm on 06th Jan Paul F wrote:

It is at least 20 months (the time I have been following what he says - but most likely several years) since Hugo Swire:

a. Said anything in Parliament in support of his East Devon constituency;
b. Voted on conscience (assuming he actually has one) against his party line.

So, I won’t hold my breath hoping that he will back the residents of Devon in the House of Commons local government settlement debate next month by speaking and voting against it.

Let’s hope that the electorate remember this when he stands at the next general election.

2. At 10:55 pm on 06th Jan Joan Kelly wrote:

I wouldn’t mind paying a 2% increase to protect the elderly and vulnerable as long as the Councillors take a 2% cut in their allowances. Of course that is not going to happen when they are on a very nice gravy train.

3. At 09:13 am on 07th Jan Claire Wright wrote:

I receive around £10,000 a year on DCC which I generally think is a fair allowance and I think most of us work pretty hard for our communities. I claim few expenses. I would like to make two points though. Firstly, that if councillors allowances are cut dramatically, it would pretty much bar anyone from being a councillor except either wealthy or retired people. That is not good for democracy. There has been no increase in allowances for several years, which I believe is right in the current economic circumstances.  Perhaps Joan you would like to write to Mr Swire about his own very large salary which will soon swell by around 10 per cent. Some MPs have pledged not to accept the rise, however, Mr Swire is not one of them.

4. At 11:08 am on 07th Jan Paul F wrote:

Claire’s comment suggests that councillors’ allowances are payment for their time rather than compensation for expenses they incur. If councillors’ responsibilities are such that they actually lose other income due to the time they spend on council work, then perhaps this is reasonable, though I would personally prefer that being a councillor is seen as a service to the community rather than a paid job.

As for Hugo’s salary, I did look into this some time ago - I cannot now find the details, but from memory he was costing the UK tax payer in excess of £300,000 in salary and expenses, yet he spends his entire time as a government minister and does practically nothing for East Devon. He doesn’t even have a second home in East Devon. Hugo is on record as being against the recent pay rise - but I guess his integrity doesn’t stretch as far as to reject it or donate it to charity.

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