council tax consultation

(87 Posts)
buggyRunner Tue 04-Sep-12 15:59:54

we've just had a questionnaire through about council tax.

basically saying do you want to cut council tax benefits and keep tax your paying the same or do you want a 1.7% increase and keep everything the same for people on discounts.

I don't want an increase, it would mean we have to pay more than the 2.5k were already paying which will mean sacrifices.

aibu?

niceguy2 Tue 04-Sep-12 16:21:54

Well firstly this isn't AIBU so YABU to ask.

That said I guess the council's intention is to see what their constituents think which is fair enough but I'm a bit hmm about the questionnaire and who it goes to.

The problem with council tax is only a minority of people are responsible for paying it whilst every adult can vote. So what you will end up finding is many people will vote for the increase because it doesn't affect them.

buggyRunner Tue 04-Sep-12 16:38:55

it was worded as if to absolve them of any responsibility for cuts. really made me angry- just hope the tax doesn't go up

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 04-Sep-12 16:43:46

It's not absolving them from responsibility, it's canvassing opinion referendum style. Your opinion is that they should cut council tax benefit so that you and others don't have to pay more. Other people may be happy to pay a bit extra so that those on benefits don't have to. Isn't that sort of how local democracy is supposed to work?

alemci Tue 04-Sep-12 16:49:31

why should you have to pay anymore - 2.5K is alot of money. it does sound like emotional blackmail.

also some of the people getting discounts may not necessarily be on benefits but to me it has always seemed like some people are subsidising others who could make more of a contribution but don't.

dreamingofsun Tue 04-Sep-12 19:41:25

we've been asked the same in previous years. like you i think paying over 2.5k is a bit much. we've looked into discounts for a club i run and came to the conclusion that almost any group of people claim they should get them - currently its OAP's who obviously tend to get the most, but where i live they generally seem to be the wealthiest with least essential outgoings.

i said they ought to become more efficient in the way they deliver services.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 04-Sep-12 19:43:31

Ours is asking if we want them to charge people with second properties/people who own empty homes more.

dreamingofsun Tue 04-Sep-12 19:49:39

i do think there's sense in stopping the single person discount, especially where one person lives in a large 3+ bedroom house. 2 of my neighbours live in 4 bed houses by themselves which doesn't seem a very good use of the limited housing stock

diamanteasbigastheritz Tue 04-Sep-12 20:25:31

We've had one too. It's a national survey, I think, linked to the fact council tax benefit will no longer be subsidised by national government.

As I understand it, local councils get a grant for the difference between everyone paying full council tax and people claiming a reduced rate at the moment iykwim. The grant they get from April will be cut, so councils have to work council tax differently or make cuts to other services to make up the difference.

We have a Labour council so they being quite forthright about what's going on. I can imagine conservative councils can't hmm

ttosca Tue 04-Sep-12 21:11:21

It's not absolving them from responsibility, it's canvassing opinion referendum style. Your opinion is that they should cut council tax benefit so that you and others don't have to pay more. Other people may be happy to pay a bit extra so that those on benefits don't have to. Isn't that sort of how local democracy is supposed to work?

Gosh - how would you answer, Cogito?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 05-Sep-12 08:11:36

A 1.7% increase doesn't seem to be unreasonable to me.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 05-Sep-12 11:28:21

It's unfair that the council will give as much weight to the opinions of people who get discounts or council tax benefit as they will to those who have to pay it in full.

If you don't pay your own council tax in full, you really shouldn't be entitled to an opinion on this subject.

If I were asked, which I probably won't be as I live in a tory area, I would say benefits and discounts need to be cut before we start asking people who are already paying their fair share (or more) to suffer an increase.

niceguy2 Wed 05-Sep-12 12:41:01

If you don't pay your own council tax in full, you really shouldn't be entitled to an opinion on this subject.

Based on that logic then I assume you also believe that anyone on JSA, IS or ESA should not be entitled to vote at a general election because they aren't contributing via income tax?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 05-Sep-12 12:57:12

BTW... a council tax of £2500 is pretty steep. Would you qualify for Nick Clegg's mansion tax if it came in?

ginmakesitallok Wed 05-Sep-12 13:01:11

Our council tax is almost £2500 - for a pretty typical 4 bed detached. It's just that there are so many people entitled to reduced council tax that those of us to have to pay it pay more. We don't live in a mansion!

dreamingofsun Wed 05-Sep-12 13:27:30

there are some areas locally where i think 25% of the population are retired. If they no longer get a rebate from central gov the increase on standard council tax payers would be significant. And the retired people need more in the way of services, eg free buses - which already cost the council there a fortune.

we too pay 2.5k a year. live in a nice house, but not a mansion and hardly any garden.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 05-Sep-12 14:25:07

OK.. It sounds high to me because I'm one of those appalling people that gets a single person discount smile Without it I suppose I'd be paying £2000 a year. It's a pity the OP got such a straight choice between 'raise council tax' and 'drop benefits'. There must be other ways to increase revenue... the much-threatened levy on rubbish, for example.

FrothyOM Wed 05-Sep-12 14:27:21

Everyone should be entitled to an opinion.

Iggly Wed 05-Sep-12 14:33:15

What is this survey?

Given that council tax only makes up some of the revenue councils get, I think there are other ways of generating income across the board for councils.

Central government gives a lot of funding to councils, so much so that they have them by the balls and can threaten them with freezes if councils dare to raise tax.

I'm all for an increase in tax quite frankly.

niceguy2 Wed 05-Sep-12 16:50:32

Didn't the govt offer local councils some money so they didn't have to raise council taxes? It was a while back and my memory escapes me now on that one.

dreamingofsun Wed 05-Sep-12 18:14:22

iggly - just out of interest, is that because you are flush with money, you benefit from the services, or for another reason??? hope you don't mind me asking.

rubbish tax is rubbish, espec when they try and con us its environmental. we recycle as much as possible but because we are a family of 5 produce the most waste in the close. one set of neighbours does absolutely zilch recycling but because there's only 2 of them produce less rubbish than us. so we would get charged the most and we already pay over 2k. Fine if you do this on how many people live in a place - but don't see how that would be feasible

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 05-Sep-12 18:29:06

No, niceguy, I don't believe that anyone on JSA, IS or ESA should not be entitled to bite in a general election.

That is not the same 'logic' at all. hmm confused

There are many many issues that are raised in an election, and many issues that are covered in manifestos.

This questionnaire was about one specific issue. I just don't think that people who aren't affected by the issue can have a vote on a subject that doesn't affect them. It would be like me trying to get a vote in the general election in Germany, a country I have never been to.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 05-Sep-12 18:29:39

Bite? hmm I meant vote, obviously.

alemci Wed 05-Sep-12 19:26:48

i am grateful they haven't raised council tax. under the last government it practically doubled.

no one is getting a pay rise, gas and electricity seem to be ridiculous. who would want to pay anymore council tax if they pay the full wack when i think it is very expensive.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 05-Sep-12 20:23:58

Council tax should be doubled for all second homes
and ANY discounts - single person / pensioner / unemployed / student etc should only go up to band E : if you rattle around in a huge house, cough up or take in a lodger

Also any property owned by a company or a non UK taxpayer should automatically pay double band H regardless of size

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