Well we’re all at it. You have had a chance to see my priorities (more policies to come) and now the Lib Dems and Labour have launched their campaigns. I must say neither are going to score heavily on the honest stakes.
The Lib Dems claim that they will scrap council tax, sounds great. They are rather less keen to tell you that they are still rather keen on local income tax. This would mean that a nurse and a teacher both on average salaries for their professions would be between £500-£700 a year worse off here in Lewisham. Hands up who thinks that teachers and nurses don’t pay enough tax already.
Labour are trying to pursued you that you will pay less council tax under them too. They are using a bit of creative accountancy - using 'average council tax per dwelling'. Labour councils tend to have lower property values and therefore have more houses in lower council tax bands the average amount of tax is lower. Independent commentators, such as Professor Tony Travers and Radio 4’s John Humphries have said the only accurate way to compare councils is to contrast similar council tax band bills and funnily enough Conservative councils do much better when comparing like for like.
Despite Labour's fiddled funding, Conservative councils still cost you less and deliver better public services. In 2006-07, Conservative councils charge £81 a year less on Band D bills than Labour councils and £88 a year less than Liberal Democrat councils.
Newslinks for Thursday 20th June 2013
21 minutes ago