This government's not stupid*...

…but it is wrong.

I’ve seen a lot of protest at the government cuts, and agree that they are too deep, too fast, and unfairly distributed – but there’s something else that just seems to be slipping by unnoticed. Central government have promised local authorities a large, one-off lump of cash if they freeze council tax. Local authorities recognise that it’d be suicidal not to take the cash, as there’s no way the electorate will let them get away with cutting services and raising tax at the same time. The longer-term effects of this, though, is to reduce councils’ ability to raise money through their residents, and leave them more reliant on central government.

At the last election, although Labour lost power in the commons, there was a big swing towards Labour in the local elections.