Last night David Scott, cabinet member for finance and performance, took the opportunity given by a budget question from Councillor John Ross to make the announcement that Ealing’s council tax would only go up by 1.9% next year.
Although he caveated his statement by pointing out that the budget setting process was not quite complete and was subject to scrutiny this is great news for Ealing. This is the lowest rise in Ealing since before the 12 years of Labour administration. At a time when headline inflation (CPI) has hit 3% it is a great achievement to come in considerably under that level and hence deliver a real terms decrease in council tax to the people of Ealing. After 12 years of Labour misrule the people of Ealing, particularly those least able to afford to pay the council tax, will be able to spend more of their own money on their own priorities and not have it confiscated by the Town Hall.