David Burbage’s weblog

Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

  • About David Burbage

    David Burbage MBE was Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council from 2007-2016. This blog : Promoted by Geoff Hill on behalf of David Burbage and all other Windsor and Maidenhead Conservative candidates, all of 2 Castle End Farm, Ruscombe, Berkshire RG10 9XQ
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Archive for the ‘Tax’ Category

The burden of Council Tax for the bottom 30%

Posted by davidburbage on December 23, 2014

This TPA graphic shows how Council Tax forms a bigger bill than income tax, and second only to VAT, from the bills sent to residents at the lower end of the income spectrum. It’s pretty expensive – even in the cheapest Borough for council tax in the UK outside a few London Boroughs.

In the bottom decile, Council Tax typically* takes 7.2% of income away – for every £20, that’s £1.44 gone! In the next, 4.6%, and in the next, 4.0% – just a bit more than people pay in income tax at 3.9%….


Council tax is a pretty regressive tax, linked to property size rather than income levels, so keeping it as low as possible really does make a difference for those on lower wages or fixed incomes such as pensioners – whilst delivering excellent services, that remains our aim for 2015!

Hat tip to the TPA for this piece of research!

* somewhat lower in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Posted in Council, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Devolution calls continue

Posted by davidburbage on November 30, 2014

I must admit I was rather busy on Friday morning and missed the email asking for signatures to a call for more devolution; certainly would have signed it (note to Gary – add me please!) as the increasing powers to Scotland further highlight the woefully inequitable arrangements within the UK for English citizens.

The Scots will now be able to set my income tax, and their own, but I can’t vote on their taxes (or health or education or transport or loads of other things) – but they can continue to do that on ours.

Why? A proper piece of devolution from Westminster to local authorities would go some way to address this discrimination against English voters, and allow us more of a say in our own local matters…… am sure English MPs will consider this when they sort out English Votes for English Laws!



Posted in Council, General, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Residents to be over £1000 better off under Tories with latest council tax cut

Posted by davidburbage on January 21, 2014

For the fifth year running, the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Conservatives are proposing to cut council tax for residents, this year by a further 2%.

The latest cut means that the average household will be over £1000 better off than if the Liberal Democrats still controlled the council.

Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Maidenhead Riverside), Lead Member for Finance, said: “When the Liberal Democrats were last in control, council tax rose by a staggering 24.3%. This is in stark contrast to the 25.6% real terms cut delivered by the Conservatives over the last five years – proving that only the Conservatives can be trusted to be responsible with residents’ money.”

The average Band D rate for unitary authorities in England last year was £1486 making RBWM residents over a third better off than residents living in other unitary councils across the country.

Cllr David Burbage MBE (Con, Bray), Leader of the Council, said: “We know that people are still worried about the cost of living and rising bills. By cutting council tax again we can help to ease a bit of their tax burden. Residents should feel confident that we will continue to deliver the first-rate services our residents quite rightly expect.”

This fifth consecutive cut will bring council tax back to the level it was 10 years ago and place RBWM as the lead authority for the most years of consecutive council tax cuts.

Rt. Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “My congratulations go to the councillors and officers at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead for cutting council tax for five years in a row. Local households will welcome a 2% reduction in their council tax bills. The Royal Borough has once again demonstrated that by repeatedly cutting waste and combating inefficiency, it is possible to keep on delivering improved frontline services at the same time as cutting council tax. This shows how Conservative councils do more for less”

Following this week’s budget announcement that RBWM Conservatives have proposed to cut council tax for a fifth consecutive year, Prime Minister David Cameron was quick to congratulate the Conservative run council on twitter.

In addition to David Cameron’s comments, Windsor MP Adam Afriyie also applauded the Conservative Group’s efforts to produce yet another budget that enables a further cut to council tax without any reduction in front line services.

Home Secretary and MP for Maidenhead Theresa May also welcomed the news for local residents saying:

“I am delighted that the council has once again been able to announce a significant cut in Council Tax. This is excellent news for people in Maidenhead and the Royal Borough. This Conservative council is proving that you can get more for less by working with local residents to develop more efficient services.”

Posted in Conservative success, Council, General, Libdem Failings, Maidenhead, Tax, Windsor | Leave a Comment »

Council Tax 2013/4

Posted by davidburbage on February 13, 2013

 We have announced a further reduction (-3%) in Council Tax for 2013/4. This has been achieved by hard work in finding savings that do not remove services from the front line, and often, improve services by doing better for less. Other Berkshire Authorities are either raising Council Tax or freezing. We will be clearly the best value for money in the county, and we remain the lowest Council Tax outside Central London. Our reserves are also at new higher levels thanks to in-year savings in 2012/3.


Since 2007 we will have reduced Council Tax in real terms by over 20% and put £16 million back into the Borough’s economy versus the position had we simply frozen Council Tax in the last four years.

Posted in Conservative success, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Office of Budget Responsibility rather loose with terminology

Posted by davidburbage on August 14, 2012

Here, Robert Chote repeatedly says (in the second minute) that we either need spending cuts or tax rises. He appears not to be familiar with the widely understood principle of diminishing returns – ever increasing taxes actually reduces revenue, not increases them as people find ways to avoid tax (such as by moving away or deciding not to earn more such that tax rates are too punitive).

Posted in Tax | Leave a Comment »

Stephen Greenhalgh makes final budget speech

Posted by davidburbage on March 1, 2012

Whilst I’m on riots and taxation, this part of the Greenhalgh farewell was particularly interesting :

Last summer we were surrounded by a ring of riots in Ealing, Brent, Notting Hill and Clapham.
Yet H&F clocked up only 10 offences whereas Ealing suffered 300 crimes.
And for that I pay tribute to the Borough Commander and the local police for keeping our streets safe Anti-social behaviour on our council estates is being challenged.
We have taken active steps to evict the worst tenants and roll out CCTV on our estates.

In his last budget speech he says “we are no longer alone” and mentions Windsor and Maidenhead amongst others.

And I’d far rather be a politician announcing a 3.75% cut to Council Tax, than a politician announcing a 3.49% increase….. we will see whose is the wiser course of action in the weeks and years to come.

Two years ago we cut Council Tax by 4%. A commenter posted “this is all very well but let’s see if they can keep it up for four years”.  Well, H&F have done so five times out of six, and we’re on three in a row. So it is possible, and what is more, services actually get better as the business focusses on efficiency to residents – not just job protection for any under-utilised officials. We’re finding the same.

The overall resident satisfaction score for council services was average for London and 203rd in the country. H&F’s value for money rating was shockingly bad: 363rd out of 387 local authorities. It was this Conservative administration that took control of the council’s finances and got a grip after 20 years of Labour mismanagement and waste. After only two years of Conservative control, H&F’s score for overall council satisfaction score rose to 9th and 10th for value for money in the country.

Cllr Greenhalgh certainly led the way and has transformed the taxation debate in Hammersmith and Fulham, and to an increasing extent, across the country.

Good for Stephen. I hope we’ll hear more from him.

[photo credit : Con Home, linked above]

Posted in Conservative success, Police, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Commendation from the Taxpayers Alliance

Posted by davidburbage on February 23, 2012

 The Taxpayers Alliance have given me the “Pinup of the Month” award for February 2012. Awesome!

I did wonder if those authorities that are increasing by just-under-the-referendum-limit were given the money to hold a referendum, whether they would do so? Unlikely, methinks.

Every local government person I’ve ever spoken to is very much against democratic accountability for big tax rises.

It’s a curious comparison to Greece, where the threat of a referendum on the earlier bailout was also greeted with abject horror from the Eurocratopoly.

I’m just pleased that the implementation of tax cutting is starting to spread across the UK – something begun by Hammersmith and Fulham, and then ourselves but only very occasionally elsewhere  . . . but now happening in Brentwood, Wirral, South Oxfordshire . . and hard pressed local people are the winners, those on fixed incomes or low salaries the ones who benefit directly from a reduction in one of the largest household bills.

Given the huge amount that Council Tax has increased over the last decade, there must be more to follow.

Posted in Conservative success, Council, Government Success, Labour failings, Libdem Failings, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Credit where credit is due

Posted by davidburbage on November 22, 2010

The Taxpayers Alliance are giving us the lead credit on the Council non-jobs story :

Our recent report on non-jobs highlighted climate change officers as posts that could easily be dispensed with. Councils could take a lead from Windsor and Maidenhead Council who do not employ climate change officers. Instead it bought smart meters and energy consumption fell by 15%. Instead of wasting money, Windsor and Maidenhead saved money.

Posted in Conservative success, Council, Tax | Leave a Comment »

How Labour destroyed the UK by borrowing from unborn children

Posted by davidburbage on November 14, 2010

Well worth viewing – a clear description of the deep mess we are in financially. . . . . (you have to watch a few adverts before it starts, but you won’t then stop watching!)

Posted in General, Labour failings, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Conservative Conference

Posted by davidburbage on October 2, 2010

According to Guido the 10th most popular fringe event (have no idea if this has any weight at all) is one on cutting Council Tax


 I better think of something to say!

Posted in Conservative success, Council, Tax | Leave a Comment »