'Tough' tax times loom for Scilly
THE ISLES of Scilly Council is to apply "sticking plaster to a gaping wound" when it comes to the islands' council tax.
Vice-chair Amanda Martin used the graphic warning phrase when the policy and resources committee initially recommended accepting the Government's £12,500 freeze grant.
It meant the islands tax has remained pegged at an unchanged level for the past four years with a nettle ahead waiting to be grasped when the grant is eventually withdrawn.
Warning about future income "volatility" and short-term measures, finance officer Iain McCullough said they would be expecting to draw £374,000 from reserves in this financial year and £680,000 in the next.
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"We have a big shortfall that has to be dealt with and are facing a very serious financial situation," he said.
"Our expenses are too high, our income is volatile. We've got a real problem that needs to be tackled.
"There are tough times ahead."
Councillor Christine Savill said they were tapping a "significant" sum from reserves of which they should all be aware.
"Our basic problem in the islands which won't change is our low council tax base," she said.
While Mrs Martin said saving and generating money had to be "our mantra for the future", Dudley Mumford warned they had to be "mindful" of what they were letting themselves in for in two years' time.
Mr McCullough added that 41 per cent of the country's authorities had opted not to take the freeze grant.