The slash and burn approach to council budgeting

I don’t wish to appear churlish about Swindon Borough Council achieving a low council tax increase for the coming year but… if they can achieve an increase of just 1.8% following a year when the council’s other revenues (such as planning application fees) have collapsed, just why haven’t they achieved it before? Or perhaps it would be more pertinent to ask why they haven’t felt it appropriate to achieve such a small increase before. In principle, it should have been possible for them to achieve this level of increase in previous years putting far less strain on service provision, as the council’s finances were in a better state.

To go for broke — possibly literally — this year looks like little more than reckless pre general election posturing rather than carefully thought out financial planning.