IN the week that Solihull Citizens Advice Bureau is to hold a special credit crunch clinic, the borough council announces that the council tax for 2009/10 is likely to rise by an inflation busting 4.73 per cent.
The CAB clinic, at their HQ by Solihullcivic suite, is symptomatic of the deepening crisis in this, what many imagine is a well to do area.
There is little doubt that many people have overreached themselves but there are plenty more who, thanks to spiralling fuel and food costs, a static or barely moving income, plus plunging interest rates, are really struggling to keep their heads above water.
Throw in an above inflation rise in council tax and many, particularly old age pensioners, will be in trouble.
Many seniors will debating through this bitterly cold winter when to put the heating on, how much fuel they can afford, how best to stay warm and healthy.
Our seniors, unlike the younger generation, by and large have a fear of going into debt and are reluctant to spend what they don’t have, and are likely to go cold and possibly hungry as a result.
The government can trot out its winter fuel payments but these will do little given the current winter and the rising price of essentials.
And it’s the government that has consistently under- financed Solihull Council, forcing our civic leaders to repeatedly ramp up a tax I am sure they would much rather cut. Difficult times indeed.