Letter: Tory broadcast misses the mark

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sir: In its party political broadcast on 6 April, the Conservative Party made great play of the fact that the council tax charged for a particular band of property by Conservative- run councils was in general lower than that charged for the same band by Labour- or Liberal Democrat-run councils. This was claimed to show that Conservative councils cost the taxpayer less due to more efficient use of resources and less waste.

In fact, for the same overall tax take spread over the same number of properties, the charge in each band is very dependent on the distribution of properties between the bands. If an area contains a greater proportion of more expensive properties, then the charge in each band necessary to raise the required total is reduced.

It seems very likely that areas run by Conservative councils tend to have more homes in the higher charge bands. A comparison between band charges may therefore have little relevance to council

performance.

Yours sincerely,

JOHN HAYBITTLE

Cambridge

7 April

Comments