LOOKING-GLASS ECONOMICS

2 March 2010

Another Cornish mystery.

I’ve just had a leaflet from the national Conservative party. It says: “Freezing council tax. Conservatives will work with local councils to freeze council tax for two years, by reducing wasteful spending” (People Talk leaflet page 2).

Now look at the budget plans of Conservative/Independent Cornwall Council. This coming year, 2010/11, council tax will go up by 2.9 percent. For the next three years after that there are indicative percentage rises of 2.5, 2.25, and 2.0 (page 20 of agenda item 6 of the Corporate Business Plan, Forward Budget for Cornwall Council Cabinet meeting 25 January 2010).

A council tax freeze and rises in council tax, standing still and going up. It’s alchemy, it’s magic, it’s Tory looking-glass economics.
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Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said, “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Lewis CARROLL Through the looking glass, chapter 5, Alice and the White Queen

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