Opinion

Council tax ice age

By Nik Butler

For many businesses, and some individuals, the end of the tax year marks a time for the collation of various accounts and financial transactions.

It is an opportunity to review and publish your position. It provides an opportunity to take stock and consider how revenue generated has income for the business and how those profits were affected by the cost of doing business. It is an opportunity to review the bottom line and to consider the potential for new revenue.

For many it is a time to ask if you need to increase what you charge or reduce your spending. Or to find ways to reduce the cost of doing business.

Increasing your prices is, surprisingly, never a popular move but there comes a time when you cannot reduce what it costs to deliver a product or a service any further. No matter the institution be it personal, private corporation, or public body the rules of income versus expenditure are not altered greatly. You see examples of cutting back on spending in high street stores or private businesses which attempt to remain competitive in price only. They begin to diminish the quality in the production and goods and services; which should sound familiar to most of us living in Horsham District.

Those business bleed custom and eventually bleed commitment; They soon collapse under the weight of their ongoing costs to exist. So how sensible does it seem to freeze council tax for another year? When grants received from central government are continuously reduced. Where can the money, which pays for services and infrastructure, come from? surely not more savings.

I am at a loss for words as to how the decision to freeze council tax for another year can be greeted with enthusiasm. Times may indeed be hard for local households but they are not improved by removing and deteriorating our services and infrastructure. Individuals who benefited from social support and care through those services seeing them removed will only despair at the potential of any future increase given the lack of stability available in society.

In truth it will rarely affect those whom will never be exposed to those bare living conditions. They are protected by insurance and luxuries they can afford. I had hoped some heat of fiscal awareness would be applied to this ongoing freeze but I fear we are stuck in another council tax ice age.

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