South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) this week announced an inflation-busting 4.49 per cent increase in council tax for 2008/2009. The rise looks like being the highest amongst the authorities in the former Avon area, with B&NES and N.E. Somerset already agreed on 3.95 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively and Bristol looking set to agree on 4 per cent. The SGC press release justifies the increase with a list of “significant investments and improvements to many council services”, but the news is unlikely to receive a warm welcome from pensioners (for whom council tax forms a more significant proportion of expenditure than people of working age) and public sector employees (limited to wage increases of just 2% by central government).
The government’s favoured Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation is running at 2.2 per cent, whilst the Retail Price Index (RPI) is 4.1 per cent or 3.1 per cent excluding mortgage/rent costs (RPIX).
It is believed that Bradley Stoke Town Council has agreed its precept for 2008/2009, but no information could be found today on the Council’s website. Minutes of the Full Council Meeting on 16th January 2008 have yet to appear on the website, despite the advertised policy of making them available four working days after a meeting.
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