Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Greens propose cancelling Christmas!

Well not really! At the next Council meeting we will be putting a motion proposing an end to the Party Groups Hospitality Allowance. It has to be a bizarre anachronism that political parties can spend up to £2000 on booze and food for Christmas Parties usually inviting key party activists.
Whenever I bring this up with other Party Leaders they mutter about 'posturing' or say it's a small amount compared wth the Councils overall budget. They miss the point and the principle. Why should political groups be able to buy booze on the Council Tax? I can't imagine many people supporting it particularly in the current political climate and a time we are supposed to be looking for efficiencies and putting services under increasing pressure.
I have proposed in every Green Party budget amendment for the last few years to abolish the Hospitality Allowance. While the Greens have managed to get millions for insulation and renewable energy we have been singularly unsuccessful with our attempts to stop the Xmas Booze Tax. Perhaps in my more charitable (and naive) moments I could say it was because this particular proposal was wrapped up in a budget amendment with lots of other proposals that it made it difficult for the other Parties to support it. So now I've made it really easy for them. At the next Full Council meeting we will have a single motion on the subject. So what will happen next Wednesday? I honestly don't know!

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