What is it about Labour Party groups that they always think that higher tax is the answer? The Local Government Association's Labour Group has come up with a series of 'reforms' it would like if Labour win the next election. Titled “Putting fairness first: Local Labour’s manifesto for a new term”, it helps sound the death knell for Labour's re-election hopes.
The proposals include higher council tax for owners of larger houses (thought they paid more anyway), wider use of road pricing and extending the use of fortnightly rubbish collections. They also want to increase local business taxes.
Tax on larger houses, although possibly a welcome move for Land Value Tax advocates is, where Labour is concerned, just about the politics of envy. Introducing road pricing may also arguably be a good thing, but only if annual road tax and petrol tax are reduced on an equivalent basis. Somehow I don't think that would be on their agenda as this would mean less money eventually coming to them from central goverhment. These Labour local government types are looking not so much for reform but for a net increase in money available for them to keep their spending going through the recession and beyond.
For the rest of us this is exactly what we don't want or need. Overall tax hikes will damage potential growth of local businesses and I don't see councils spending the money particularly wisely.
As ever, the Socialist response to any set of problems is to tax it. The electorate are going to give them lessons in tax and spend over the general and local elections to come.