Friday, 6 February 2009

Tories propose £4.5m squander

Some wags are suggesting that now we know why the Tories were waiting to publish their budget.

David Sumner a member of the Merseyside Transport Passenger Transport Authority (MPTA) reports.

At yesterday's MPTA Budget meeting Tories put an amendment to make both Mersey Tunnels toll free from 6.00pm - 6.00am every day in effect from 1st April 2010.

No this isn't an April fools joke but is it mass suicide by the Tories? The Finance Director, Jim Barclay advised the committee that if this went ahead, it would give Sefton Council Tax payers an increase on the levy of 24% or £4.5m.

He also stated that if this went ahead, there would have to be massive redundancies which means that they could not operate a tolls system, possibly resulting in a further levy increase bringing it up to for Sefton, 38% or £7.6m.

The stupid thing is that the Tories, even after all this, were still deadly serious about their amendment. As only 3% of Merseyside use the tunnel it would mean that 97% of the population would be subsidising the tunnel.

Jim Barclay went on to say that there isn't a cap on levy's but as there is on Council Tax it would make the whole situation in Merseyside very difficult and who would pay off the debt still owing on the tunnels?