HART District Council's tax increase of 27.5% is a scandal akin to the doomed introduction of Margaret Thatcher's infamous Poll Tax.

Each year for about a decade now, Hart District Council's director of finance frankly insults the intelligence of local taxpayers when he comes out with the same excuses.

Either central government or the county council are to blame. This will not do, not regarding this present "whopping" increase of 27.5%.

I am sure I am not the only local taxpayer who has a sense that so much more money is needed by the local authority — in addition to the huge extra revenue generated by Elvetham Heath properties/taxes — for reasons of mismanagement.

Matters regarding this huge increase of 27.5% of our council tax should be publicly reviewed.

Your paper has already pointed out how hard hit Band D taxpayers will be come April 1. Please also consider that it appears that Hart District Council has effectively wiped out the pensioners' winter fuel allowance.

This cannot possibly meet with central government's intentions/approval. In that sense, the matter of Hart District Council's outrageous 27.5% increase in Council Tax has perhaps wider implications, re accountability of HDC.

Kate, Springfield Avenue, Hartley Wintney.