WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Column 22nd March 2023

Confused by percentage increases in tax

The annual Council tax bill arrived last week so I decided to have a look at how much it had increased and got very confused.

The bill shows how the council tax for our area is made up and the percentage change from the previous year.

That’s where I got confused.

The total increase is shown at 4.9 per cent but with the exception of Police none of the other individual components are larger than this.

Police and Crime is a small part of the overall bill but is increasing this year by 6.9 per cent.

I checked all of the figures against last year’s bill and the percentage changes shown on the bill are wrong for both parts of the County Council costs.

Assuming it’s the percentage calculation that’s wrong and not the actual costs of my council tax, then the costs for the County Council have increased by 3.4 per cent (not 3.0 per cent as shown) and the costs of the precept to fund adult social care have increased by 16.9 percent – not the 2.0 per cent shown on my bill.

The percentages shown for the Vale and the Parish are calculated correctly so only the Council Council figures appear to show much smaller percentages than the actual increases.

According to my calculations, since March 2020 (based on the bill for 2019/2020) my County Council precept has increased by more than 10.2 per cent but the separate funding for adult social care has increased by 120.7 percent (more than doubled).

It would be good if the County Council explained the basis of their calculations and could alleviate my confusion.

The Oxford Mail reported recently that Dr Martin Reeves has been recruited as the new chief executive of Oxfordshire County Council on a salary of £225,000 per year, 21.4 per cent more than the £185,350 salary paid to Peter Clark (chief executive in 2020).

In 2020 the Oxford Mail reported that this formed part of a total remuneration package of £357,160 paid to Peter Clark and that was one of the highest total amounts paid to a council chief in the UK that year.

So I guess that the total package we are paying to the new chief executive must be nearly £500,000.

I hope he is worth it and that his expensive company car doesn’t get damaged by the potholes on Oxfordshire roads.

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