Quite staggeringly it is reported this morning that:
Theresa May is reportedly set to lift a government ban on large council tax rises in an attempt to plug a hole in social care funding.
Let me be clear why this is staggering. First, council tax is one of the most regressive taxes we have. It is, effectively, capped for the well off because of the banding structure. That same structure guarantees low income households pay disproportionately high sums of this tax.
Second, unsurprisingly areas with greatest need have amongst the lowest overall council tax yields. In that case if ever a tax was unable to tackle problems in social care funding council tax is it.
Third, council tax creates a post code lottery. This is the last thing that is needed in social care where the greatest need is a consistent safety net.
I would love to describe this suggestion as inept but I am not sure I can. Anyone who knows anything about this tax would realise in seconds how inappropriate this suggestion is. It cannot be ineptness than. It must instead be deliberate. I suggest that is also for three reasons.
First, the attitude is 'make the poor pay'.
Second the attitude is 'let's not redistribute to achieve this'.
Third it's 'well we're very sorry, but people did not vote to pay more so your problem can't be blamed on us: you and your friends should have got out to vote'.
This is cynical, calculating malevolence to guarantee nothing really happens.