Mr Pickles is the pot calling the kettle black
The recent decision by Cornwall Council’s Cabinet to introduce a policy for those in receipt of the Council Tax benefit, or as it is known under its new name Localised Council Tax Support, might (final decision in Jan) find themselves being required to pay 30% of the Council Tax, as the maximum support given will be 70%.
This has not gone down well with people who are very worried on how to find this extra money. It does seem rather strange that the Cabinet is hitting those more in need. However, I will not be going into detail on the Cabinets recommendations, as I will get the chance to have my say and more importantly, vote in January when the full council will vote on this, and the budget in full.
What I will be talking about is the hypocrisy of the Secretary of State for Local Government, the Rt Hon Mr Pickles MP, who criticises councils in the Western Morning News that have or are thinking of going down this path.
For councils like Cornwall Council, the devolution of this function comes with a 12.5% reduction in budget. That is £6 million that Cornwall Council has to find. If it was not for his Government, and the off-loading of this down to local councils, with less money, councils would not have to make these difficult decisions.
You cannot have it both ways Mr Pickles as at least give councils fair funding when you hand down functions to Local Authorities. Though for Cornwall Council to have greater sympathy, it also needs to hand down a fair budget with the services it is off-loading to town and parish councils. I am not seeing a lot of this actually happening.