Sunday 5 April 2009

What a bizarre comment!

Regular readers will know that Mayor Elect Brian Coleman recently said that Twitter is for twits. Council Leader Mike Freer is an avid Twitterer.

Earlier today, Cllr Freer posted the following message:-

"Select Committee report into Icelandic Deposits - bizarre conclusions. Charities good - compensate. Councils bad - don't compensate!!"

Unlike most charities, councils employ teams of treasury experts to look after taxpayers money. They have access to all manner of financial reports which warn of problems in the markets. Barnet Council has admitted that it ignored clear warnings not to invest in Iceland.

As all Conservatives know, the government does not have any money of its own. It only has what it takes from us in taxes or, in Gordon Brown’s case, what he borrows from our children and grandchildren. It would be manifestly unjust to expect one set of taxpayers to bail out another.

Those people living in Boroughs whose councils were more financially responsible would, quite understandably, be rather annoyed if they were forced to pay more tax just to spare the blushes of a few reckless and irresponsible councils.

The Icelandic Business Minister, Gylfi Magnusson, has already said that councils are unlikely to get all of their money back - which will result in either reduced services or increased tax bills for people living in the affected Boroughs.

Rather than apologise and face the consequences at the ballot box, it seems some councils think that innocent taxpayers should have to pay for their mistakes, and let them off the hook.

How bizarre.


Anonymous said...

There was a clash between the respected and heavyweight Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, John McFall MP, and some mouthpiece from the Local Government Association on the Today programme on Saturday.

The upshot was that John McFall clearly blamed Councils for this mess up, he called them all negligent, and said it would be wrong and perverse for them to bailed out for their weak governance and poor decision making.

The LGA man wanted the government to allow the Councils to spread the losses over so many years that the voters wouldn't notice. The government has refused.

McFall said that voters should be allowed to see the full impact of the Council's actions and they could vote for them accordingly.

As a member of the Council's Audit Committee for 4 years, it is of immense concern that the Council's Executive have never shown any remorse for a calamity on their watch that was their duty and responsibility.

Mike Freer joking and laughing about this in public is completely unprofessional. The opposition parties are not fit to run Barnet Council either and I would never support them in any case.

Why has no one ever resigned from the Cabinet in Barnet?

Barnet needs an elected Mayor and to clear the decks of the deadwood in the Council. Only then can we expect real dynamic leadership and accountability.

Rog T said...

As Father Ted said, "The money is not lost, it's just resting". I hope Freer proves us all wrong and gets it back. I'm not a mug & I don't want big tax bills. I just think it's about as likely as Uma Thurman asking me to be the father of her babies.