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How to punish our overspending councillors

I noted from the last issue of Belfast City Council's City Matters that the average rates bill in Belfast rose by 3.35% - around £2 per month - although for some it will mean up to £6 per month.

It was interesting to read that the council recognises that these are difficult times and accepts the need to keep costs down.

It is a disgrace that there is any increase in the rates at all in these difficult times, when families are struggling to keep their heads above water. After all, it is our money these councillors are spending, or overspending.

The rates increase shows the council was inefficient in its budgetary control and we - the public - suffer financially as a result.

As there are no consequences for poor budgetary control by the council, they can carry on spending, knowing they just have to add a few pounds to next year's rates bills to clear the deficit.

I feel there should be a requirement that if the council, through overspending our money, has to make an increase in rates next year, the allowances of those councillors responsible for the overspend should be reduced by the same percentage as the required increase. I have no doubt this would make them exercise much more restraint when it came to spending in future.

Contrast our situation with the London borough of Fulham, where, as a result of careful financial control, householders had their council tax reduced by £120 per year.




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