Last night's Reading Borough Council Cabinet demonstrated that Labour in the short four months they have been in charge have turned a £400,000 surplus into a £300,000 budget deficit - and keeping the deficit at that level is only achievable by Labour praying for an outbreak of lawlessness to help pay for it.
They are betting £575,000 on a massive INCREASE in bus lane fine revenue. That's an eye-watering £1.4 million in fines to Reading drivers required this year. That's after they had the cheek to complain about the introduction of fines for kerbside parking which was to be introduced to solve a real problem in some areas of town. The bus lane fines which we now see Labour see as a cash cow to bale out their incompetence.
All this whilst they let Tesco park their lorries without any form of sanction in the bus lane in London Street to make deliveries to their Crown Street store.
Labour will need that £575,000 and more to get themselves out of the mire they are landing the Council and council tax payer in. By delaying measures in last year's budget they have already needlessly cost the council tax payer an extra £490,000. That figure is the cost due to the delay. Any budget reversals such as the Green Bin collection (£180,000) comes on top of that. This is getting on to a near 1% increase in council tax without even addressing the savings that they will have to make. We have already seen that they are making people redundant to pay for these "promises" so where are the unions in fighting these Labour cuts?
I'm estimating that by the time the budget setting comes around Labour will by their (in)actions have to make up at least a £2m hole that they have created unnecessarily, with the delays and policy reversals that steal from the poor to give to the rich.
They will have two choices. Increase the money they will have to borrow to pay for their runaway budget putting the council even more into debt or hike up council tax to eye-watering levels. They will try to blame it on the national government, but the simple truth is they are incompetent and not fit to run a whelk stall.
As Nick Clegg said, it's not polite to say I told you so. But I told you so.