Here’s an offer you can refuse . . .

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

“Pay more for less” is not a catchphrase that any major superstore will be using in their adverts anytime soon.

It might be catchy but it would be commercial suicide for whichever business chose to adopt it; “I say, you buy two, you get none free.”

Would you be enticed into Sainsbury’s in Bretton if their poster said, “Live well for more” or Tesco’s in Hampton, if they told you that “Every 
little helps empty your wallet?”

No, I didn’t think so.

During the last few years of financial uncertainty we have become used to getting more for less, with sales becoming less of an event and more of an everyday occurrence, a bit like a Katie Price Pregnancy.

On the telly, sofas that can be delivered in time for Christmas have been marked down and they will be again for Easter and every other month with a “y” in it, whilst the Irish fella, who used to be on the BBC, always has a double glazing deal for us and he only fits the best.

If it’s not “on offer” we wait until it is; full price has become a thing of the past, unless of course you want an Apple product or feel the need to hire a hitman.

However, Peterborough City Council has shown in the past that it is not afraid to go against convention and shake a fist to public opinion (solar farms, turbines, road works, etc, etc) so they have proposed to adopt the phrase, “Pay more for less.”

It’s a risky strategy, cutting services whilst putting up council tax, but you can’t exactly shop around can you? You and I have to pay what they say or we end up in court, it’s a seller’s market and we have to buy.

In fairness, their budget deficit has more zeros than Hilary Clinton has deleted emails and with their government grant slashed in half, they had very little alternative.

For those struggling to make ends meet at the moment that will be of little comfort and coming just a couple of weeks after the same council voted to give themselves a huge increase in allowances, it smacks of arrogance or at the very least insensitivity.

Councillor Seaton, who looks after the budget, called the timing, “A bit embarrassing,” but it’s more than that, it’s another example of poor judgement and bad communication.

Those at the top must have known, when they voted for the rise in allowances, that they planned to increase council tax, surely somebody realised what that would look like.

Short of standing on the Town Hall steps and shouting, “Let them eat cake,” I fail to see how they could have been any more inconsiderate.

If the council had wanted the good folk of Peterborough on their side they could have accomplished it easily, by setting an example and offering to take a pay cut.

By doing their bit, the blame for the rise in council tax could then have been laid squarely at the door of central government; the council and the people would have been as one, united, together.

After all we are all in this together, aren’t we?