Camden residents of properties in the higher council tax bands are probably well used to receiving begging letters from organisations asking for money. They may however be about to get a new one – from the council.
In addition to the £2,662.70 (£2,043.06 to Camden, £619.64 to the Greater London Authority) that they paid in council tax in 2010/11, the council is considering asking richer residents to donate up to 5% of their annual bonuses to help the council bridge the estimated £100 million gap between their income and their expenditure over the next three years.
And what might this scheme raise?
The paltry (in terms of their overspend) sum of £0.5 million – or 0.5% of the shortfall.
Really worth the effort, not.
So, how much does Camden Council spend?
In the accounts for 2009/10 (the last year available on their website) they spent £1,130.66 million.
If one is to make the (very unlikely assumption) that over the next three years they spend the same amount of money each year then we are talking a sum of £3,3391.88 million. A £100 million shortfall over the same time therefore works out as only 0.3% of that. Even if we are to say that it is the shortfall each year we can still only up to 0.9%..
Are Camden council therefore really saying that they can’t save less than 1% of their budget?
On a final note, would these begging letters be sent to their CEO (salary £199,961 plus £11,481 bonus in 2009/10) or the ‘Director of Culture and Environment’ (salary £151,734 plus £8,712 bonus in 2009/10) or any other the other 15 officials whose total remuneration (excluding pension contributions) topped out at over £100,000? Assuming of course that these individuals actually live within the borough…