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    is Council Tax the new stealth tax?

    I don't know about your area but in my area ever since the Government took off the lock on increases 2 years ago ours is shooting up each year with each dept doing the maximum they are allowed. Always with the same excuses

    When I wrote to my local MP, I got a sarcastic letter back saying I should be grateful that they price has not gone up in 5 years, so even if the increases are large it could of been worse!

    it is now £160 a month with the increases, and I wonder if the Government has learnt that they can keep cutting the amount of money paid to councils so they have to keep hitting us with large increases year on year, so all the blame goes on your local council..

    and I don't mean stealth like the fuel duty tax etc, I mean in that your local council can just keep adding massive increases each year without much headlines, unlike if the Government announced a rise in general taxation

    38 Comments

    Just scrap it
    the councils still get funds from central government. Why not all of it ?

    It's just a way of central government saving money and not seeming to be responsible double win what **** me off even more my 2bed house water payment is 40 pound pm and down south a 4,5,6 bed mansion pays the same

    Edited by moderator: "." 7th Feb

    You've answered your own question.

    Central Govt has reduced the grants given to Local Govt, and then handwaved when they then need to either reduce services or increase CT. My local council had a double increase last year because of an increase in the social care precept and looks set to do the same again this year and next year.

    They're expected to do more (In regards to social care, it is now almost entirely a local issue) with less money and frankly something has to give. The perverse thing is that this policy is costing more as more councils take longer to take "fit" patients out of hospital into their care, costing huge sums thanks to bed-blocking and the complications that come with prolonged hospitalisation.

    Of course, the Tory Govt don't have to care. They can say they're reducing taxes at their end, Labour are pathetic and can't be an effective opposition to save their lives leaving a still damaged Lib Dems or the uber right wing. No Wonder May feels safe taking these sorts of steps, she has more than enough political capital to burn while those in need suffer.

    steevojohno

    It's just a way of central government saving money and not seeming to be … It's just a way of central government saving money and not seeming to be responsible double win what fuxks me off even more my 2bed house water payment is 40 pound pm and down south a 4,5,6 bed mansion pays the same


    Get a water meter.

    Original Poster

    Stop_It

    You've answered your own question.Central Govt has reduced the grants … You've answered your own question.Central Govt has reduced the grants given to Local Govt, and then handwaved when they then need to either reduce services or increase CT. My local council had a double increase last year because of an increase in the social care precept and looks set to do the same again this year and next year.They're expected to do more (In regards to social care, it is now almost entirely a local issue) with less money and frankly something has to give. The perverse thing is that this policy is costing more as more councils take longer to take "fit" patients out of hospital into their care, costing huge sums thanks to bed-blocking and the complications that come with prolonged hospitalisation.Of course, the Tory Govt don't have to care. They can say they're reducing taxes at their end, Labour are pathetic and can't be an effective opposition to save their lives leaving a still damaged Lib Dems or the uber right wing. No Wonder May feels safe taking these sorts of steps, she has more than enough political capital to burn while those in need suffer.



    I figured I had, it just makes me so **** off, as this is tax rises via the back door, and Central Government will just stand there and say "not us doing this to you" when in reality they are by reducing grants, politically very clever

    the people at your local council who control the budget could use the money on frontline services but choose to cut back for maximum effect & then plead for more while they pay themselves big salaries + generous perks, it's disgusting how they behave

    Aeschylus

    I figured I had, it just makes me so **** off, as this is tax rises via … I figured I had, it just makes me so **** off, as this is tax rises via the back door, and Central Government will just stand there and say "not us doing this to you" when in reality they are by reducing grants, politically very clever


    Council tax is not correlated to services but how much the councillors want to cream off the top and how much they care (or not) about inefficiencies.

    You should chat to people who work for councils and see what they say about em, not good, usually just trying to chase the latest headline, rather than actually trying to make progress.

    Original Poster

    DarkEnergy2012

    the people at your local council who control the budget could use the … the people at your local council who control the budget could use the money on frontline services but choose to cut back for maximum effect & then plead for more while they pay themselves big salaries + generous perks, it's disgusting how they behave



    Oh dont worry, I am fully aware, my local council paid 2 million pounds on a 'enterprise zone' building that apparently people go to so they can be..... you know 'enterprisers' a total waste of **** money!!!!!!!

    Edited by: "Aeschylus" 7th Feb

    It's to top up their pensions

    Have not of.

    It's a very unfair tax, local councils are the worst form of management and especially money management.
    Saying they are under funded, then spending a fortune of local "events" and spin. The local council is fine if you can get a job in one with a nice pension but it is just an unfair tax.

    Typical 70's management with old fashioned departmental budgets.

    I don't understand why a local council that has to provide council tax benefit and housing benefit struggles so much when unemployment has dropped so much in recent years which in turn means people who previously took benefits, now pay them. However councils still demand another 4% per year.

    davewave

    Council tax is not correlated to services but how much the councillors … Council tax is not correlated to services but how much the councillors want to cream off the top and how much they care (or not) about inefficiencies.You should chat to people who work for councils and see what they say about em, not good, usually just trying to chase the latest headline, rather than actually trying to make progress.



    ​have to agree, kirklees councillors created a bus lane a few hundred yards long, cost £670.000, even the bus drivers think its a waste of time and money. that's local councillors for you, they want to leave a mark on an area, usually they get it wrong.

    I've noticed our local council is doing less and less every year when it comes to things like cutting grass repairing roads, maintaining street lighting etc. By the time it gets to mid summer some green areas look post apocalyptic with grass 4-5ft high - in other words a right mess and we're talking about vast areas 3-4 times the size of a football pitch. Residents offer to pay the council to cut the grass or do it themselves but the council don't want to know. When it comes to the more affluent areas around here, you get virtual manicured lawns and planted flower beds.

    But the council can still find the cash for vanity projects like wasting millions on re-developing a dead town center, replacing some of the main road street lighting with LED and employing someone to rake through your recycle bin in the hope of finding one little piece of food so they can ticket it and refuse to empty it - now we even have to pay to have our garden waste bin emptied.

    And the above is why the tactic works.

    All local councils are evil money grubbers who take all the money and pay themselves millions while doing nothing. They don't deserve the money they do get. AND they just put up CT because they can, I hate them. Etc etc.

    Forget anyone who relies on local govt for social care, children's services, care for the disabled and elderly (The 3 biggest spends for any local authority by a huge margin). Nearly all local councils have all meetings minutes online, along with budget spending and planning. If you think you can do a better job, get your local councils latest spending review, go to a meeting or participate in their consultations and actually contribute.

    I have been getting regular consultations online from my local council and I always fill them in. On it's own it might not do a great deal but frankly, moaning on a message board is one thing, but if people actually got involved in their local communities and told them "This spending on X is wrong while Y is being cut" then just maybe people can re-shape their areas and feel more justified in what they do spend in CT.

    DarkEnergy2012

    the people at your local council who control the budget could use the … the people at your local council who control the budget could use the money on frontline services but choose to cut back for maximum effect & then plead for more while they pay themselves big salaries + generous perks, it's disgusting how they behave


    Very true .

    thedvdmonster

    Have not of.



    ​so your trying to point out someone else doing something incorrectly, care to expand.

    Original Poster

    Stop_It

    And the above is why the tactic works.All local councils are evil money … And the above is why the tactic works.All local councils are evil money grubbers who take all the money and pay themselves millions while doing nothing. They don't deserve the money they do get. AND they just put up CT because they can, I hate them. Etc etc.Forget anyone who relies on local govt for social care, children's services, care for the disabled and elderly (The 3 biggest spends for any local authority by a huge margin). Nearly all local councils have all meetings minutes online, along with budget spending and planning. If you think you can do a better job, get your local councils latest spending review, go to a meeting or participate in their consultations and actually contribute.I have been getting regular consultations online from my local council and I always fill them in. On it's own it might not do a great deal but frankly, moaning on a message board is one thing, but if people actually got involved in their local communities and told them "This spending on X is wrong while Y is being cut" then just maybe people can re-shape their areas and feel more justified in what they do spend in CT.



    our town council spends 80,000 a year on a free fireworks display, I once emailed my local councillor and suggested that this was really a utter waste of money, especially as 2 days prior they announced they were stopping a special needs class for 18-24 year olds due to funding issues....

    the reply I got, one line and it said exactly this....


    No one likes a Grinch

    Newcastle city council made 55 people redundant at a cost £1.1m then rehired them within a month .

    Aeschylus

    our town council spends 80,000 a year on a free fireworks display, I once … our town council spends 80,000 a year on a free fireworks display, I once emailed my local councillor and suggested that this was really a utter waste of money, especially as 2 days prior they announced they were stopping a special needs class for 18-24 year olds due to funding issues....the reply I got, one line and it said exactly this....No one likes a Grinch



    That's awful, you should get in touch with your constituent MP and raise a complaint. That's no way to behave for a legitimate concern.

    Aeschylus

    our town council spends 80,000 a year on a free fireworks display, I once … our town council spends 80,000 a year on a free fireworks display, I once emailed my local councillor and suggested that this was really a utter waste of money, especially as 2 days prior they announced they were stopping a special needs class for 18-24 year olds due to funding issues....the reply I got, one line and it said exactly this....No one likes a Grinch


    You should have posted the full correspondence to your local paper. (If you have, good!)

    Remember these councillors are elected, and frankly, I'm sure someone can oust that clown in the next cycle. The point is we all have the power to take back control of our democracy from the bottom up, but it requires perseverance and effort.

    Things like what you just said is a prime example of how we need to keep all levels of govt held to account at all times. If they want to spend money on fireworks, get a commercial sponsor to do it for them. Of course, keeping people happy and distracted with some pretty colours while cutting services that only affect a few is a common populist tactic.

    Edited by: "Stop_It" 7th Feb

    DarkEnergy2012

    the people at your local council who control the budget could use the … the people at your local council who control the budget could use the money on frontline services but choose to cut back for maximum effect & then plead for more while they pay themselves big salaries + generous perks, it's disgusting how they behave

    Stop_It

    And the above is why the tactic works.All local councils are evil money … And the above is why the tactic works.All local councils are evil money grubbers who take all the money and pay themselves millions while doing nothing. They don't deserve the money they do get. AND they just put up CT because they can, I hate them. Etc etc.Forget anyone who relies on local govt for social care, children's services, care for the disabled and elderly (The 3 biggest spends for any local authority by a huge margin). Nearly all local councils have all meetings minutes online, along with budget spending and planning. If you think you can do a better job, get your local councils latest spending review, go to a meeting or participate in their consultations and actually contribute.I have been getting regular consultations online from my local council and I always fill them in. On it's own it might not do a great deal but frankly, moaning on a message board is one thing, but if people actually got involved in their local communities and told them "This spending on X is wrong while Y is being cut" then just maybe people can re-shape their areas and feel more justified in what they do spend in CT.



    Entrepreneurs.

    Why is it a total waste of money? Obviously I won't ask for figures that show it doesn't work because you won't have that information, but why is such a scheme a bad thing?

    Emboldening people to develop their own small businesses is the cornerstone of any successful economy, and just because you don't have that drive it doesn't mean others don't.




    I agree with this.

    Council tax rises are necessary because the government don't tax people enough - simple as that. It's not about greedy corporations avoiding tax either, although that doesn't help, but people moan about taxes going up and they moan about services going down because they can't link the two things together.

    So they put the burden on councils who have to provide essential services, and yet still people think it's bureaucracy that is the biggest problem.

    Original Poster

    plodging

    Newcastle city council made 55 people redundant at a cost £1.1m then … Newcastle city council made 55 people redundant at a cost £1.1m then rehired them within a month .



    That is done at all levels of Government, the ' make them redundant' then the 'who is going to do their jobs now' is a cancer in public funded organisations....

    Aeschylus

    our town council spends 80,000 a year on a free fireworks display, I once … our town council spends 80,000 a year on a free fireworks display, I once emailed my local councillor and suggested that this was really a utter waste of money,



    Again, without knowing how much money that brings in to the local economy then it's impossible to know if it's a waste of money.

    What they should have said that without a full understanding of the financial picture, you're simply moaning for the sake of it.

    Stop_It

    Get a water meter.



    ​Water meters are only cheaper for single occupancy

    Don't suppose anyone noticed how much national insurance they pay now lol

    This is good most people use led lights, less energy used, less profit for for suppliers so they put prices up lol

    freakstyler

    I've noticed our local council is doing less and less every year when it … I've noticed our local council is doing less and less every year when it comes to things like cutting grass repairing roads, maintaining street lighting etc. By the time it gets to mid summer some green areas look post apocalyptic with grass 4-5ft high - in other words a right mess and we're talking about vast areas 3-4 times the size of a football pitch. Residents offer to pay the council to cut the grass or do it themselves but the council don't want to know. When it comes to the more affluent areas around here, you get virtual manicured lawns and planted flower beds.But the council can still find the cash for vanity projects like wasting millions on re-developing a dead town center, replacing some of the main road street lighting with LED and employing someone to rake through your recycle bin in the hope of finding one little piece of food so they can ticket it and refuse to empty it - now we even have to pay to have our garden waste bin emptied.


    The non-grass cutting is done for environmental reasons(as well as saving money)
    agree about the road repairs however

    I would expect the government know council tax is broken but no government will change it not after the poll tax fiasco.

    Local Government is so badly run but their senior managers are paid more than senior management in successful industry.

    The Scottish government has frozen council tax for the last 9 years. One of the policies I'm not sure i agree with actually. They are planning to bring in a more progressive local tax system to replace it.
    Probably a land value tax system. But I think it's still being looked into

    My most dreaded of bills, unfortunately have no choice but to pay

    Yep councils cut our bin collection just before Christmas for the Christmas period and I knew it was gonna stick, it has they haven't reverted back to the old method and to add effect they sent everyone a letter saying you will have to now pay extra to have the green bin emptyed

    Here in Manchester council tax has recently gone up every year since they invented a job for a certain ex mp.
    They call it police commissioner,this his a guy who last year decided to kindly do his bit for austerity by cutting his staff from 40 to 30 how kind was that,40 staff members for one guy.
    They have sold of the street scene so the streets get cleaned once every 3 weeks if we are lucky and I believe by 2018 they want rid of all in house services grass cutting etc.
    Our council tax is going up by 5 per cent this year and each year upto 2020,Manchester council has taken millions from Manchester air port and last year they got 14 million and spent a little putting in new bins in the city centre what happend to the rest and the recent millions they got no body knows.
    They say their is no money but have just spent 400k doing up the fountains in Piccadilly gardens.
    We are being taken for a ride and unfortunately untill the people of Manchester see behind labour nothing will change.
    The leader of the council retires this year on a massive golden pension and this his a guy who's salary was £207k more than the prime minister of this country.
    For me if I had the funds I would get out of here.

    If the government put up taxes they are unpopular.

    If they get the council to do it the council is unpopular.

    One of the richest counties in Britain has backed down on its threat to raise council tax 15 per cent to pay for the spiralling cost of social care, claiming it had received “reassurances” from the government that it will move quickly to tackle the crisis.

    Councils around Britain had been watching to see if Surrey would become the first county to levy additional tax to cover the cost of elderly and disabled care. Collectively, councils face a funding gap of £2.6bn by 2020 for such care after cuts in central government funding.

    Surrey had planned to hold a vote on charging an extra 15 per cent precept to cover social care, but the Conservative-run council, which includes the constituency of Philip Hammond, the chancellor, backed down after David Hodge, the council leader, said he was now “confident” that the funding position will be “completely different” by next year.

    “I never wanted a referendum but it was something we had no option to do if we did not see some understanding [from the government],” he said.

    People have to vote at their local council elections for change. Most councils are poorly Labour ran. We know Labour have no idea when it comes to business or spending. Need to get out and get rid of them. They have an agenda to make the Government look bad, but open your eyes and see the bigger picture.

    Chiptivo

    People have to vote at their local council elections for change. Most … People have to vote at their local council elections for change. Most councils are poorly Labour ran. We know Labour have no idea when it comes to business or spending. Need to get out and get rid of them. They have an agenda to make the Government look bad, but open your eyes and see the bigger picture.



    Have you seen the size of the increase in national debt since 2010 or is that 'still' Labour's fault?

    hodgester

    Have you seen the size of the increase in national debt since 2010 or is … Have you seen the size of the increase in national debt since 2010 or is that 'still' Labour's fault?


    Obviously labours fault. We have debt interest to pay and we still have the social burden that we can not just change overnight.

    But looking at the facts. Revenue is at its highest, unemployment at its lowest so thank God the changes put in place 8 years ago are working.
    Edited by: "Chiptivo" 9th Feb

    I wouldn't resent every penny of my council tax bill if the council weren't so damn incompetent. Their collective ability to screw up is legendary around these parts.
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