Cap Local Authority Reserve Bank Accounts & Amend the Local Government Finance Act of 1992
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In November 2015, it was announced that Local Authorities have over £22.5 Billion pounds of tax payers money in cash reserve bank accounts.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said that he recognises the need for councils to be responsible with taxpayers’ money and save for the future but they should also make efficient use of their assets and resources to best meet the needs of their local communities.
As of 2017, the British public have seen yet another wallet busting rise in Council Taxes, where the Local Authorities have blamed central government cuts as their reason for putting a burden on their finances.
Local Authorities cannot expect to increase levels of Council Tax whilst their own cash reserves continue to increase and reduce essential services, we have seen recently on the news where Kensington Council have almost £240 million in cash reserves and allegedly renovated public housing in sub standard materials, this in anybodies eyes is simply unacceptable.
The proposal is to treat Local Authorities in the same way Benefit Claimants are treat in regards to savings and excess capital, where if you have an amount of savings exceeding a certain level, you are no longer entitled to state benefits. The proposal is to introduce legislation on which Local Authorities are allowed to keep a modest level of reserves to cover contingencies, bad winters, floods, etc etc and the remainder either returned to central government or returned to the tax payer in the form of Council Tax Credits on their next years bill.
If the Local Authority has too much in their reserves and exceed the reserve threshold, the legislation would be that they are NOT allowed to increase Council Tax for a period of 6 years or reduce Council Tax bills for the following year in the form of a rebate back to the public as a council tax credit as it would be deemed that the Local Authority can afford their commitments to public services through their own savings.
After all, this is public money ! if they are not spending it they obviously don't need it, it needs to go back to the people who have paid it. You wouldn't expect Alan Sugar to be raking in benefits if he has millions in savings, the same applies to Local Councils, spend it on the infrastructure of the Local Authority area, or loose it all-together, Councils can't come back cap in hand year after year pleading poverty with millions of pounds in their accounts.
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