On the 22nd May 2006 - and under the last Labour Administration - H&F Council published official papers announcing that there would be a real terms cut in council tax each and every year up until 2009. This was agreed at the Annual Budget Meeting on 22nd February 2006. Councillors from all parties were present.
However, despite introducing 578 stealth taxes themselves, H&F Conservatives have now started to tell people that Labour would have put Council Tax up by 7.7%. This is demonstrably not true – which is why H&F Council is legally forbidden from repeating such fabrication in any of its publicity.
I do not believe any national politician’s reputation would survive if they set out to deliberately mislead the public in this way. The national media would make mincemeat of them. However, H&F Conservatives clearly think that local politics is different. It doesn’t get the same level of public interest, investigation or the spotlight that the national scene gets for sure. Maybe H&F Conservatives thought they could get away with this hoodwinking exercise with their reputations intact? We shall have to see.
Those people wanting to check out the situation themselves should look at H&F Council’s annual budget papers here. On page 42 you will see that H&F Council is making £36,335,000.00 worth of cuts - which they list as "efficiencies" - and are mostly targeted at essential services (See here for full budget analysis). For that you will see on page 37 that the tax reduction is £20.74 per year. So, if a Conservative leaflet comes through your door proclaiming that you’re “£349.04” better off – which is what they’re saying. You may want to get out your previous Council Tax bills, compare the difference and ask yourself “How gullible do these Tories think I am?”.