The council cannot raise the figures required to be saved.The £17.38 million now; and around £32 million over the next four years. It is not feasible.
With the cuts in services there can be no credible council as the Trades Councils said over two years ago when it asked, “What will be the point of the Council?” We foresaw the debacle and the method in the madness of the Conservatives whose intention was to shift emphasis to devolution.
Even with the grant cuts the council has already made, the Government were always going to come back for more but now the line has been crossed the last line of defence is set to be breached.
The intention for local authority services to be entirely funded by business rates will not only fail to solve the problem of care but raising Council Tax will be nigh impossible to collect,the burden will be too great for the Council and the people who will be forced to pay.
And what is this ASDA money? – A mere sop, a temporary one to ameliorate a situation by squandering a public asset. A quick fix piece of patchwork maybe, that might fill a hole caused by not financing out of our rightful grant money that has been taken away and needed to pay for services.
Raising Council Tax to 4% has to be seen for what it is, A Government that says that it is against raising taxes, is in fact raising them by getting Local Authorities to do the dirty work and carry the can.
We have long argued the unique situation of the island, but above this is the fact that many councils have been driven to the edge.This Austerity strategy cannot be sustained.
Now that the Council, the MP and Officers face the Government together they should not waver. On behalf of the people of the Isle of Wight, they should be firm with a Government who have caused this situation, not on bended knees with a begging bowl and a plea but demand that the Government backs off and pays up what it owes us instead of putting our backs to the wall.