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Bonkers Blog March 2014

Index: 2009201020112012201320142015201620172018

14 March - The worst council tax record in London

With the help of the data manager at the GLA the errors in the historical council tax rates have been fixed and Bonkers’ ‘league table’ now runs from 1999 to 2013. I don’t think the changes make any significant difference to the recent analysis. In broad terms Bexley has made a mess of things from the beginning of the millennium but is now extremely pleased with itself for freezing taxes at their highest level. Bromley at Band D is £120 lower than Bexley but 13 years ago the discrepancy was only £67. Twenty years ago Bexley had the advantage.

The best performing outer London boroughs have risen up the league table by five places since 2000, Bexley has fallen by eight places. No outer (or inner) London borough has fallen more than Bexley.

Over the next two months, Bexley’s Conservatives will continue to loudly proclaim that council tax is not going up in April but ironically the achievement is largely due to four years of Labour rule. Their 17·5% increase in 2003 was followed by increases of 7·5%, 4·9% and 5·8%. From £938 at Band D when Labour arrived to £1,315 when they left, a cool 40% increase. And Bexley’s Conservatives who complained it was far too high have since raised Band D taxes by another £117. Aren’t they lucky that Labour put taxes up so much? But not nearly as lucky as to have residents ready to believe the propaganda that the Tories are doing a good job. Better than Labour ten years ago but underperforming nevertheless.

Note: Council tax data going back to 1993 is said to be available on the central government website but unfortunately it gives a ‘404’ error. It has been reported.

 

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