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Hypocritical council tax rises...

24 replies

imaginewittynamehere · 24/01/2008 08:59

How can the government preach about payrises not being above 2% the simultaneously allow council tax rises of 4% and more?? I just don't believe that they can so blatantly bandy these 2 figures about at the same time.

OP posts:
Daisymoo · 24/01/2008 09:04

Councils are having to raise their charges because the government has drastically cut the amount that they give to the councils - it's not to make huge pay rises to their workers!

imaginewittynamehere · 24/01/2008 09:11

But I have to pay it out of just a 2% wage rise meaning I am getting poorer..

OP posts:
mrspnut · 24/01/2008 09:14

Councils have also had to cover the cost of rising fuel, insurance premiums, utility bills, food costs just like everybody else only on a bigger scale.

Everybody is in the same position - there are low wage rises across the board this year and for the past few years but the cost of living has kept rising anyway.

Hecate · 24/01/2008 09:22

I don't see why they don't just make it a % of earnings and take it from paypacket like tax & NI.

Of course, you'd need to find a way to deal with those who currently avoid tax .. like company directors pretending they're on minimum wage, for example!

but there has to be a better way.

Making the starting point how nice your house is, is stupid. 2 families could have the same level of income (above the level where you'd qualify for benefit) but one of them has a band C and the other a band is that fair??

imaginewittynamehere · 24/01/2008 09:44

But Mrs Pnut that's my point - I have to cover all those things too but am expected to ona 2% rise whilst the council can't manage to cover the same things on less than 4% - something there doesn't stack up.

Some good points too Hecate

OP posts:
mrspnut · 24/01/2008 16:23

Hecate - but what about the people that don't work but still have money? How are you going to collect from them.

There is no fair way of collecting the tax that's needed. They tried taxing each person but that caused huge riots so instead they valued each property and assigned each a band and taxed each band but still people complain.

If two families at the same level of income live in different band houses then they were worth different amounts in 1991 (or if they were built since then they are deemed to be worth different amounts backdated to 1991)

iwnh - The biggest rises in the council tax are always to cover the police, fire service and social services. Do you want those services cut even more than they are already just so you don't have to pay more than a 2% increase in your council tax.

I don't like paying it, council tax staff don't like paying it but the money has to come from somewhere. The lib Dems once had a policy that they would put a penny on income tax and use the money to put millions into the education system. This actually cost them votes at the general election that followed because people never want to pay more tax yet they complain about lack of services.

southeastastra · 24/01/2008 16:38

grr i don't understand it at all. they've made our local police station part time, bin collections are now fortnightly, more revenue is collected through parking restrictions and yet still the council tax goes up and up.

ivykaty44 · 24/01/2008 16:43

Central gov cut the amount that they give to local gov and so the local council cut back services and increase charges to counter balance their budget. Pity Gordon can't budget.

I agree with Hecate - but when we had a poll tax during the late 80's and early 90's it caused riots

Hecate · 24/01/2008 16:49

Who said anything about not wanting to pay for services? - I actually SAID in my post that it would be better to take a % of the paypacket instead, like is done for Tax & NI!!!!!

I simply think that there could be a more fair way to do it, according to actual wealth (or lack thereof). what a house was worth in 1991?? I don't understand. I mean....I understand that is how they arrived at the values and bands, but what does that have to do with income in 2008?

As to not working but still having money, well, you could have a PAYE system for the employed but a fall-back for others, where they have to disclose their source and level of income - if they aren't working and they aren't on benefits, they must have money coming from somewhere!! and they can be charged accordingly. If they don't fill in the disclosures they get charged X (the highest possible amount) which they would then have to appeal against, with proof of income. Problem is, people will always lie and try to hide their money.

If people weren't so selfish and were prepared to contribute fairly, then things would be far more simple. have you noticed it is usually the very wealthy that work hardest to hide their money even though they could easily afford to pay?

I'm no expert, hell, if even the governments have never found a way to do it that is seen as fair by all, what chance do I have

Hecate · 24/01/2008 16:53

But wasn't the poll tax a charge based on how many people were living in a house, not based on income? Just as stupid, imo. One rich person pays less than 2 poor ones!

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

So simple.

FioFio · 24/01/2008 16:55

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

Hecate · 24/01/2008 17:02

But costs are rising, so it is costing more to do less! Everything is more and more expensive, from wages to utilities to fuel to insurance ...

We DO need to contribute more, but in a more fair way.

But also, let's be honest, government (local and national) waste a hell of a lot of money. If they stopped flushing millions down the loo on one stupid thing after another, and just ran the country efficiently, we'd all save a fortune!

southeastastra · 24/01/2008 17:04

of course, like the OLYMPICS!

Hecate · 24/01/2008 17:04

They should put ME in charge of the money. After some very bad financial times I am now tight as a duck's arse and assess whether every penny has been used effectively!

southeastastra · 24/01/2008 17:09

i'd start with the amount our local council spends on bedding plants for starters not to mention councillor's expenses.

mrspnut · 24/01/2008 17:10

The bit about not wanting to pay for services was directed at the op not you.

The way the council tax banding was derived and carried out cost a huge amount of money , and a review of valuations that was proposed has been shelved due to the Daily Wail's outcry about government snooping. Whatever they change the system to would cost a huge amount of money and there would still be people who aren't happy.

I agree that councils could save a fortune if they stopped using management consultants and instead used a public panel to do the work (I'd do it for a nice lunch and some child free time ), but in order to effect change then there has to be a consistent and coordinated effort to change things from within.
If every mumsnetter stood for a local councillor election then we could take over the world by this time next year.

PortAndLemon · 24/01/2008 17:21

OP didn't say she didn't want to pay for services either... just can't see how

"we can't possibly manage on an increase of less than 4% as the cost of things is going up so much"


"it's totally unreasonable of you to expect an increase of more than 2%"

can come from the same source with a straight face.

imaginewittynamehere · 24/01/2008 20:02

Thanks Port&Lemon - you put it much better than I did That's exactly what I think!!

OP posts:
SenoraParsnip · 24/01/2008 20:29

but PortandLemon, you don't have to pay all those police and coucil worker pensions.the buggers are living longer don't you know. also most councils blame the rises on cuts in government funding, not the cost of everything going up.

eleusis · 24/01/2008 20:52

I think the councils should have to disclose the balance sheet. Where exactly does all my hard earned money go? And can someoneexplain to me why those bands are all so low. I mean shouldn't the middle band be somewhere around the average house price? It seems an awful ot of houses are at the high bands. That seems wrong.

SenoraParsnip · 24/01/2008 21:14

they do have to disclose the balance sheet.

some councils print all the figures on leaflets, others will give them to you if you ask.

eleusis · 25/01/2008 08:43

Oh, how would I go about finding/requesting this?

I want to know things like councillor expenses and how much they have saved by only collecting my rubbish every 2 weeks.


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ivykaty44 · 25/01/2008 13:34

Hecate, the poll tax was a personel tax and each indivdual person over 18 years had to pay the tax.

The poll tax had no relation to how much your house was worth. If you lived in a house with 5 other adults and the poll tax was £300 each then a total of £1500. If you lived in a house and where the only adult living in the house the bill would be £300.

Thing was some county councils had a population of say 500 000 and the sums would add up to pay for all the services - but another council may have only 200 000 people and therefore revenue was not enough, so that council put up the price and charged people £500 per year.

So a tax that was originally supposed to be equal to every single adult in the country became a tax that varied in price depending on where in the country you lived and the difference could be £200 - £300 per year difference.

Kevlarhead · 25/01/2008 21:21

eleusis : request it under the freedom of information act. They can't turn it down.

Simple: council tax goes up because of the ioncreasing numbers of retirees drawing their local authority pension. As the baby boom generation shifts into retirement, the level of this (and other taxes) will rise and rise in order to keep their pensions topped up.

Get used to it. There's a never-ending supply of retirees out there, and a limited number of workers...

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