It had been brought to my attention that the figures for the allowances being taken from the tax payers pockets by Cllr David Mackintosh are inaccurate and that a correction should in all fairness be made to this blog.
I am happy to re-blog with the correct figures.
Apparently Cllr Mackintosh also receives £5,000 as an Assistant Cabinet Member of the County Council, and therefore this year will receive a minimum of £36,000 a year in allowances and not the £31,000 as previously published.
Conservative (Rotten) Cabbages and Turnips Con Trick
At Wednesday night’s Northampton Borough Council Cabinet meeting where they presented the Conservative Budget Proposals for consultation you couldn’t be anything but struck by three comments.
One was from Cllr Alan Bottwood, the Cabinet Member responsible for Finance that the proposed budget was a continuation of service reductions and increased savings which as we all know is euphemism for further cuts in spending.
Put simply for ‘savings’ read ‘cuts’
The second comment was from Cllr Tim Hadland who said that it was a fantastic report which is easy to understand and to quote, “If I can understand it then it is simple”.
Which given that he has been the Conservatives financial expert for years and is a former Leader of the Council probably says a great deal about his past performance?
The last perhaps most revealing comment however was from Cllr David Mackintosh who took great pains boasting that in freezing the Northampton Borough Council Tax he was providing “great help to hard-working families”.
It is said that deceit comes in many forms and there is no doubt that Cllr Mackintosh is an expert at all forms of political deceit.
His reference to helping “hard working families” by freezing NBC Council Tax is yet another example.
The facts are that a 1% increase in NBC Council Tax equates to 4p a week to Council Tax payers, or to put it even more into perspective is £2.08 a year, which means that a 1.5% increase would be £3.12p a year.
Now I don’t want to be a kill joy but no matter how Cllrs Mackintosh, Bottwood and Hadland try to dress it up, present or spin it,
NOT CHARGING Northampton residents an additional £3 a year is NOT giving “GREAT HELP TO HARD WORKING FAMILIES”.
In fact it isn’t giving Great Help to anyone.
Figures of course don’t mean a great deal so let’s put it into terms that many of us will understand.
The value of money is in what you can buy with it and yes I have intentionally selected the products I bought.
Yesterday for £3.12p I purchased 2 cabbages and 2 turnips!!!
What Cllr Mackintosh of course is absolutely not admitting is that he is supporting a 1.99% Council Tax increase as a County Councillor that will see an increase of £28.51 to Northampton taxpayers who live in ‘Unparished areas’ and even more in the areas that have Parish Councils.
It isn’t hypocrisy to boast of not increasing NBC Council Tax by £3.12p on the same day as proposing to increase it at the NCC by £28.51?
It isn’t even cynical politics.
It is simply dishonest?
What none of the three Conservative Councillors talked about was the impact of the rent increases that are going to be on average over £4 a week or the impact of changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme that will cost the most vulnerable and hard pressed families over £2 a week.
So much for “look at me I’m providing Great Help for Hard Working families”.
What is interesting is that all three of the Councillors is how they avoid at all costs discussion about their own position viz a viz receiving tax payers money when talking about how committed they are to cutting the cost of essential services.
Cllr Mackintosh in particular is very keen on any and almost every occasion to talk about how hard he works for the community, how he is driven by ‘public service’ whilst at the same time avoiding revealing that his ‘public service’ is as a full-time politician.
It seems that from when I first got elected the principle that ‘allowances’ were paid to provide out-of-pocket expenses has now been abandoned for the principle that it is full-time employment.
So much for ‘Public Service’
I’m sure that those families who are working full-time on the National Minimum Wage or where they can only find part-time employment would be pleased to receive from the Northampton taxpayer the minimum of £31000 that they will be paying Cllr Mackintosh this year.
At more than twice the National Minimum or Living Wage it isn’t a bad way of earning a living and you get to decide your own increase.
It would be very understandable for Northampton people to question how Cllrs Mackintosh, Hadland and Bottwood as they collect their combined £80,000 a year from the taxpayer can keep a straight face whilst penalizing and cutting services to the most vulnerable.
The question many will be asking is just who are the cabbages and who are the turnips.
They certainly are treating the people of Northampton like the proverbial mushrooms.
What is not in question is that the people of Northampton will continue to see increasing service failures,
the most hard pressed and poor will become even more hard pressed and poorer,
the vulnerable will become increasingly vulnerable,
Homelessness will increase,
the number of people turning to food banks for help to feed their families will increase,
the number of people who will fall victim to the pay day loan sharks will increase,
The number of elderly and vulnerable who will live in poverty will increase,
the Northampton Conservatives as they did when immediately following the County Council election gave themselves a 23% increase in pay will continue to benefit from increased allowances at the tax payers expense.
The great thing about cabbages is that as you peel off the leaves it reveals what lies beneath!
The problem with turnips is that it is only when you cut into them do you discover whether they are rotten to the core.