Wednesday, 26 March 2008

£18,762,000 hike in council tax on West Lindsey’s taxpayers under Gordon Brown

Effect of Labour’s local taxes hikes on soaring cost of living exposed

New figures today have revealed that the tax take from council tax bills across West Lindsey has soared by an estimated 123% under Labour. This is equivalent to Gordon Brown raking in an extra £1.7m of council taxes each year since 1997. The news comes as new council tax bills are being sent out by West Lindsey District Council.Official answers by Labour Ministers show, for the first time, how much extra money is now being raked in from council tax in every part of England. Small print from the Budget also reveals that the Government is forecasting a £1.2 billion rise in council tax across Britain from April.

· The increase in council tax receipts across Britain under Gordon Brown is the equivalent of levying an extra 4 pence on the basic rate of income tax. As a whole, council tax now rakes in the equivalent of 7 pence on income tax.
· New figures show that across the East Midlands, the money collected from council tax is estimated to have soared by 131% from £765,000,000 in 1996/97 to £1,767,150,000 in 2008/09, a rise of £1,002,150,000 under Labour.
· Official statistics also show that council tax bills in West Lindsey have collectively risen by £18,762,000 from 1997 to 2007 – a rise of 123%.

Giles McNeill, Nettleham Parish Councillor, said:
“Under Gordon Brown, council tax has been turned into the ultimate stealth tax – with West Lindsey’s taxpayers left to foot a £18m bill imposed from Whitehall. People are paying more and getting less.

“Whitehall must stop imposing unfunded burdens and regulations on town halls. But people power is also needed to control council tax. Conservatives will give local residents the power to veto high council tax rises through local referendums. We will place local taxpayers back in control of town hall finances.”

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Bad news Budget: £110 extra in taxes on families across West Lindsey

Giles McNeill giveshis analysis of Government’s tax and spending plans

Giles McNeill, Nettleham Parish Councillor and Prospective District Council Candidate, this week delivered his verdict on the Budget which sets out the Government’s plans for taxes and public spending. Giles highlighted a series of areas where local residents across West Lindsey will lose out:

• Clobbering responsible drinkers: Instead of targeting irresponsible binge drinkers, responsible drinkers are being hit with inflation-busting increases in alcohol duties, raising £1.5 billion in extra taxes over the next three years.

• Little help for pensioners: The Winter Fuel Allowance has been increased for the first time in five years. But the increase is only a one-off for this year. Meanwhile, the burden of council tax bills is set to rise by another £1.2 billion this year, with council tax rises coming on top of hikes in previous years.

• Harder to get onto the housing ladder: This Budget fails to address the growing burden of stamp duty on first-time buyers - half of whom now pay stamp duty. More family homes will be paying 3 and 4 per cent stamp duty, as the thresholds are unchanged.

• Higher income tax and National Insurance for many: Tax changes on National Insurance and income tax announced in the last Budget are still to come into effect. Independent experts have calculated that 3.5 million families will be worse off as a result.

• Drivers face new stealth taxes: The Government is to fund new technology to impose controversial ‘spy-in-the-sky’ national road pricing taxes. Meanwhile, family cars face extra taxes of £735 million a year, but the tax cuts on small cars are only worth £15 million a year.

Giles McNeill said:
“The cost of living is rising fast, but Gordon Brown’s Government has added to it with a barrage of new stealth taxes. This is a bad news Budget that adds £110 a year to the tax bill for families across Lincolnshire.

“Any extra taxes on alcohol or cars should be offset by tax cuts elsewhere, but Labour has just used them as an excuse to raise more money for Gordon Brown’s coffers. Taxes and borrowing are up because the Government failed to use the good years to prepare for the bad years.”

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Budget 2008: George Osbourne's Response

This is a bad news Budget. Alistair Darling is kicking Britain’s families when they are down.

- Darling has added £110 a year to every family’s tax bill. The tax take will be £2.8bn a year higher by 2010 – and if benefits are excluded, it will be £4bn higher.

- The new taxes announced in the budget will add up to £1.5bn extra on all alcoholic drinks, £1.6bn on drivers, and £1.7bn on businesses over the next three years.

Taxes and borrowing are up because Labour failed to use the good years to prepare for the bad years. After 15 years of global growth, Britain has the worst budget deficit in the developed world.

Even with the new taxes introduced in Darling’s budget, borrowing will be up £20bn over the next four years, including a £7bn rise next year alone.

The Government has no room for manoeuvre, so they are kicking families when they’re down.

Giles McNeill on: Budget 2008 Part II

Big increases in duty on alcohol and high-polluting cars have been announced in the Budget 2008.

Alistair Darlings first Budget has put 4p on a pint of beer, 14p on a bottle of wine and 55p on a bottle of spirits. Duty on a packet of cigarettes is up 11p. He announced higher road tax for the most polluting cars but delayed for six months a 2p rise in fuel duty.

The over-60s will get £250 instead of £200 and the over-80s will get £400 instead of £300 for winter fuel payments.

He also ordered energy companies to increase the help they give to people using pre-paid meters from £50m to £150m a year.

On the environment, he announced legislation to come into force in 2009 to impose a charge on single-use carrier bags if progress is not made on a voluntary basis.

Mr Darling said he was setting aside new funding to develop road pricing schemes.
On the wider economy, Mr Darling cut by 0.25% his October forecast that the UK economy would grow by up to 2.5% this year and he said inflation would rise before returning to its 2% target in 2009 and remain on target thereafter.

He said borrowing next year would rise to £43bn - £7bn more than forecast last year - with a similar increase the following year.
• Delay 2p rise in fuel duty for six months

• 6% increase in alcohol tax - with 2% annual rise for next four years

• 4p on pint of beer, 3p on cider, 14p on wine, 55p on spirits

• 11p on packet on 20 cigarettes, 4p on five cigars

• Higher first year rate of road tax for most polluting cars

• Increase in green tax on flights

• Winter fuel payment up to £250m for over-60s and to £400 for over-80s

• Require supermarkets to charge for plastic bags if they do not scrap them
Conservative leader David Cameron has said the
"cost of living is going up and Labour is making it worse".

He said the facts hidden in Alistair Darling's first Budget were high debt, high interest rates, high taxes and lower growth and accused him of
“a dire list of reviews and reannouncements”
and said borrowing rates were truly dreadful.
“In the years of plenty they put nothing aside, they didn't fix the roof when the sun was shining,”
The Conservative leader accused the chancellor and prime minister of living in an entirely different world from everybody else.

Giles McNeill on: Budget 2008

Gordon Brown had a decade as Chancellor and jumped ship before things got difficult. But Labour’s record on the economy is bad. Despite fifteen years of economic growth Britain has the largest budget deficit in Western Europe and Gordon Brown has failed to prepare the UK for any global economic instability we may encounter.
Despite fifteen years of economic growth, Gordon Brown has massively increased borrowing. In the past five years Gordon Brown has borrowed £100 billion more than planned. The current budget has not been in surplus since 2001/02. This year’s borrowing forecast has increased by at least £8 billion in the last 20 months. In March 2006 Gordon Brown claimed he would have to borrow £30 billion in 2007-08; in March 2007 he upped this figure to £35 billion, and in October 2007 Alistair Darling upped the estimate again to £38 billion. The IFS estimates that if current spending trends continue borrowing will rise to £41 billion.

The ‘golden rule’ (that the Government should only borrow to invest, and not to fund current spending, over an economic cycle) would have been missed by almost £4 billion without the convenient decision in summer 2005 to add two years to the beginning of the economic cycle.

In 1997 the retail price index showed inflation at 2.6%, last year it was at 4.0%. Inflation is higher under Labour. Earnings are also falling. Consumer debt is also rising in March 1997 total household debt was under £500bn now it is nearly £1,400bn – that £1.4 trillion! Under Labour, lending has been rising at a rate of over 10 per cent per annum, making the debt mountain now greater than Britain’s total gross domestic product. We are all feeling the pinch in our pocket at the supermarket checkout or at the petrol pump.

During his ten years as Chancellor, Gordon Brown introduced 111 tax rises, including the abolition of tax credits on pension funds’ dividends and increases in stamp duty. Gordon Brown also burdened the UK with the longest national tax code in the world. His 2007 Budget took the UK’s tax code to just short of 10,000 pages, surpassing India, which previously held the record with just over 9,000 pages of tax legislation.

According to independent experts, taxes have risen by £5,400 since 1997 for every family in the UK after allowing for inflation and the poorest fifth of households pay a higher proportion of their income in taxes than any other group – under a Labour Government!

Under Gordon Brown chancellorship, ‘green taxation’ has fallen from 9.4 per cent of total tax receipts in 1997 to 7.3 per cent in 2006 – which is why today Alistair Darling will be presenting his so called ‘green budget’.

But it’s not just hardworking families – high tax rates are the ‘most problematic factors for doing business’ in the UK according to the World Economic Forum.

I, like my party, will not promise up-front, unfunded tax reductions. Our commitment to sound money means that we will always put the stability before promises of tax cuts. That's why I am so concerned about the way the Market Rasen Pool project is being handled - £4.1m to build a £4.7m pool which will run at a £250,000 deficit each year that will be picked up by council tax payers in Nettleham who are unlikely to use it.

We need to build a sustainable, low-tax economy. Therefore, as the economy grows, and increased revenue flows into the Exchequer, the Conservative Party will share the proceeds of that growth between increased spending on public services and reduced borrowing or lower taxes.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Market Rasen Pool

Below is a letter from Giles McNeill printed in today's Lincolnshire Echo:
I am sure that residents of Market Rasen are delighted at the news that West Lindsey District Council seems to have given the go-ahead for a swimming pool for the town (February 27).

But the council has no long-term strategy developed for the pool. It has five years of funding to cover the shortfall but then it will need to add £250,000 each year to the council tax to pay for the operating costs (and that doesn't include capital expenditure).

As a member of Wragby and District Swimming Pool I know that a four- lane, 25m pool can be operated efficiently by a not-for-profit organisation - and this is the route that should be taken by the district council.

If a trust was set up to run the pool, the council could put the £1,250,000 earmarked for running costs to construction and do a proper, first-rate job.

Councillor Shore and his colleagues also know that the pool will never attract the wild figures claimed - 80,000 people after all is more than the district's entire population!

Everyone wants better leisure facilities - but this is not the solution and will prove financially disastrous.

GILES McNEILL, Nettleham.