In the same week that Gideon Osborne delivered his condescending “Beer and Bingo” Budget, Croydon Council has delivered official leaflets to all households in the south London borough which underlines quite how much worse off we all are under the Conservative-led government.
The Labour opposition group at the Town Hall is seething with the Tory-run Croydon Council for abusing official council publications – the Your Croydon propaganda magazine and the annual Council Tax mail-out – as undisguised political mail-shots to promote the pre-election £25 bribe. And all paid for out of public money.
But Tony Newman’s Labour group could surely have not reckoned on the spectacular own goal scored by florid-faced Mike Fisher and his cronies in what is supposed to be an apolitical information sheet about Council Tax sent to householders.
It’s there in black and white. Or various pastel shades.
Under Gideon Osborne’s enforced austerity, the cost of living for hard-working families has soared since 2010:
Up 38.4% – the cost of clothing and footwear
Up 35% – the cost of petrol and oil
Up 36.3% – the cost of rail fares
Up 24.2% – the cost of gas
Up 18.1% – the cost of electricity
A litany of failure for the Conservative-led government, all distributed throughout the borough of Croydon by its Conservative-run council.
The lovingly designed graphic about the cost of living is supposed to illustrate what a bang-up job the local council has done with Council Tax over the same four-year period.
“This means you are now paying less for council services than you did four years ago,” the leaflet soothes, assuming that few residents will have noticed the drastically reduced services we receive now compared to four years ago, even though we continue to pay one of the highest levels of Council Tax in London. And even though the amount of council-funded political bullshit sent through our doors shows no sign of abating.
The leaflet also forgets to mention how Croydon Council Tax increased by almost 2 per cent in 2013, costing us all more than the £25 election bribe.
Nor does it bother stating that under government policy, local councils are compelled to limit any increases to Council Tax, forcing them to slash away at public services and amenities. Which is something Fisher and his crew have undertaken with alacrity, bordering on outright glee, as the rubbish piles up on our streets and the borough endures crises in housing and school places.
The reaction of Chancellor Osborne and Tory Central Office to the own-goal Croydon Tories’ Council Tax leaflet might wipe the smile off Fisher’s face, though.
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: Basically Johnny Moped, Mar 27-28
- Crystal Palace Question Time, Mar 27
- Croydon Half-marathon, Mar 30
- David Lean Cinema: 12 Years a Slave, Apr 3
- David Lean Cinema: The Great Beauty, Apr 10
- Norwood Society Talk: Crystal Palace, Apr 17
- David Lean Cinema: Inside Llewyn Davis, Apr 17
- Opening of Marlpit Lane bowling and putting greens, Apr 17
- Arts and Crafts Market, Exchange Square, Apr 19
- David Lean Cinema: Short Term, Apr 24
- Norwood Society Talk: West Norwood – a place of change, May 15
- Croydon RFC charity memorial day, May 17
- Norwood Society Talk: The Concrete Church, June 19
- Crystal Palace Overground Festival, June 26-29
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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