Last week Councillor Simon Cook, Leader of your Council, was quoted as saying his undisclosed association with the Tax Payers Alliance was ‘meaningless’ when it was discovered. Regardless of Mr Cooks’ failing memory, should we be worried?
On the face of it, Simon would say the Tax Payers Alliance are harmless. They describe themselves as a non-partisan grassroots organisation who aim is to reduce the taxes we all pay. Hurrah I hear you all say! Well, read on.
An article by Tim Horton, research director of the Fabian Society in 2011 claims the group is “fundamental to the Conservatives’ political strategy” and shares many of its donors. The group, he claims, is ‘a means with which to undermine public confidence in politicians’ ability to deliver public services, thereby paving the way for cuts.
Whilst claiming to campaign against government waste, it’s own website suggests that “austerity, in the way that it is being implemented by the government is something that should be permanent”.
Their plan it seems is not to save us all money but cut public services.
On the doorstep in Herne Bay, cuts to public services are not meaningless nor considered victimless crimes. Since 2009 ideological cuts to our police services have seen almost 25,000 less officers on our streets according to the National Audit Office and violent crime is on the rise.
Last year crime in Kent went up by a third, the highest rise of any county in the country. Canterbury Police station is running on a skeleton crew and our rural-villages no longer see bobbies on the beat.
We are now told by Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner that to improve police services in Kent, we all need to pay an extra £24 a year in tax. Thankfully it seems we have a Conservative politician who understands that tax pays for things and is an essential part of maintaining our social fabric. Our council tax will fund an extra 200 officers.
In May, it seems have a simple choice, to support a party led by someone who believes reducing tax is a goal, or another worried about the damage tax cuts can bring to people desperately in need of the services they pay for.
It’s an ideological choice to side with those interesting in reducing their tax burden and those least able to avoid it, even if they tried.