The Council tax in England will be going up in April by just under 5%, more than twice the limit on pay increases being imposed by the Union Government. The average Council Tax bill in England will go up by £115 per month. Meanwhile in Scotland the proposal of the Scottish Parliament under its Scottish National Party leadership is to freeze council tax, and for that the overwhelming majority of Scottish councils are fully in support.
The injustice to England since devolution just goes on and on. In addition to having itself acknowledged under the Union Government as a distinct nation enjoying Home Rule Scotland now enjoys free eye care, free dental check-ups, free access to cancer drugs, and free personal care free travel countryside for the elderly. With a Scottish Prime Minister and a Scottish Chancellor of the Exechequer Scotland is getting benefits denied to England,while it is the English taxpayer who is paying for them.
The injustice does not stop there. Despite the council tax increase local services are being cut back. The Union Government under Brown and Darling, while making more and more demands up local councils even as the cost of existing services and the council’s wage bill increase, is not increasing central government subsidy in line with increased costs.
‘Little wonder a recent Yougov poll found that the Council tax is the most unpopular tax of all. ’67% of people in England resent it more than any other’.', says Veronica Newman, secretary of the Campaign for an English Parliament. ‘The way England is being victimised just has to stop. The people of England cannot just be expected to pay for the benefits of devolution which Scotland is getting while getting none of them themselves and no parliament of their own either. The people of England should be able to decide for themselves how their money is to be spent. It’s time England had a patriotic government with patriotic MPs just as Scotland has.’