The last Labour administration delivered real-terms cuts in council tax, and kept charges for council services low. Now, H&F Conservatives have increased or introduced a staggering 578 new stealth taxes, with some charges rising by hundreds of percentage points above inflation.
Residents’ parking charges have increased by 12.5 per cent, and children’s out-of-hours play service charges have risen by a astonishing 121 per cent. The minimum increase across all council charges is 5 per cent. Many of the stealth taxes hit the most vulnerable local residents, with Meals on Wheels prices rising by an incredible 40 per cent - adding £365 to annual food bills for the elderly.
The Tories also went back on an election pledge not to introduce home care charges for the elderly, sick and disabled, telling them that if they don’t pay the brand new £12.40 per hour charge, they won’t receive these crucial services.
Included in the new stealth taxes is the controversial new charge for the garden waste disposal service, which now costs £7.25 - even though there didn't seem to be much of a service for those that signed up to it. That and many other of these charges used to be included in residents’ council tax payments. Now, residents have to pay these extra cost on top of their council tax.