Editor’s comment: Voluntary tax increase is oddly familiar
- Credit: Archant
I don’t dislike the idea of asking people in expensive homes to contribute extra council tax to a “fairer Islington fund”.
Personally I’d be all for a mandatory hike at the top end, but I don’t think it’s possible to do that without increasing the bill for people in lower-value properties too and, in any case, you need to stage a referendum to put it up more than 5.99 per cent. And there’s little chance of that passing, which means the £400,000 Islington would spend simply asking the question would be wasted.
But if there’s a whiff of familiarity about the policy, that might be because it isn’t a million miles away from something Cllr Caroline Russell proposed 12 months ago – and for which she got pretty much laughed out of the chamber.
What Cllr Russell was suggesting was holding a referendum and trusting that a majority of people in Islington would give it their blessing. While I admire her faith, I don’t think the policy would have got anything like half the electorate’s backing for the simple reason that so many people in Islington are not well-off. That is neither here nor there because Cllr Russell’s motion was defeated.
But if a voluntary council tax increase was a viable option I think it was somewhat disingenuous for Cllr Hull to tell the chamber at large: “This just shows how out of touch the Islington Green Party is. [...] I think a 4.99pc rise is enough. To take the council tax above 4.99pc would mean holding a referendum.”
A year on, not only has it been decided that the maximum council tax hike isn’t enough after all, but a way to increase it further without holding a poll has been found, too. Heaven forbid Islington’s two elected parties should work together. Far better to preach endlessly to the choir, eh?
- 1 Gun found in car as Met makes 130 arrests during drugs op
- 2 Archway teacher on trial for 'encouraging terrorism'
- 3 Replacement Finsbury Park leisure centre a step closer
- 4 'Government should rethink their plans': Masks still required on TfL
- 5 Screen on the Green: Dive into 1940s America this weekend
- 6 Former Met cop faces trial with seven others over alleged bribery plot
- 7 Deadline extended for Islington's greener futures fund
- 8 'Graffiti vandal' linked with £500k worth of damage caught in Highbury
- 9 Islington: Cycle track could be back if funding found
- 10 Five arrested for drugs offences after dawn raids