Curb Local Authority spending

One of the most basic freedoms is the freedom to spend your own money on whateverr you, personally, want.  Many local authorities arrogate this right to themselves, by imposing higher council tax to pay for the schemes wanted by small pressure groups.  In my area the town council caved in to demands froma small number of people for a civic theatre/arts centre.  In a referendum they won by about 1%, so since then the council has spent over £1,000,000 of taxpayers' money building and subsidising the place.  It is time this kind of thing was brought to an end – local authorities should be restircted in how much money they can spend on activitites that they are not legally required to carry out.  I would opt for a return to the old measure, one old penny in every pound of rates was the maximum allowed for "nice to have" spending.  Repeal and/or amend the legislation that set local authorities free to spend whatever they want on whatever they like.  Perhaps replace it with a standard of 1p in every £1 of council tax raised – much more generous than the old measure – but allow higher spending if, and only if, it is approved by a 75% majority of those entitled to vote in council elections.  That would bring them roughly into line with the requirments for extraordinary spending by private copanies, which have to get shareholder approval for such things as takeovers.

Why is this idea important?

One of the most basic freedoms is the freedom to spend your own money on whateverr you, personally, want.  Many local authorities arrogate this right to themselves, by imposing higher council tax to pay for the schemes wanted by small pressure groups.  In my area the town council caved in to demands froma small number of people for a civic theatre/arts centre.  In a referendum they won by about 1%, so since then the council has spent over £1,000,000 of taxpayers' money building and subsidising the place.  It is time this kind of thing was brought to an end – local authorities should be restircted in how much money they can spend on activitites that they are not legally required to carry out.  I would opt for a return to the old measure, one old penny in every pound of rates was the maximum allowed for "nice to have" spending.  Repeal and/or amend the legislation that set local authorities free to spend whatever they want on whatever they like.  Perhaps replace it with a standard of 1p in every £1 of council tax raised – much more generous than the old measure – but allow higher spending if, and only if, it is approved by a 75% majority of those entitled to vote in council elections.  That would bring them roughly into line with the requirments for extraordinary spending by private copanies, which have to get shareholder approval for such things as takeovers.

Council Tax reform

Like many, i have done the right thing and bought my own home so i'm not reliant on social housing, which is fortunate as i don't think i'd be eligable being the most discriminated against sector of society…. single white male without children.

 

having bought a house in need of investment, (the onle one i could afford), at great financial discomfort, i am now forced to pay council tax on this whilst i renovate it. This prevents me from investing in the house so i can live in it, at which time i will be eligable for a 25% discount.

 

I am investing in the local housing stock, but there is no incentive to do so. The council tax exemptions should be updated to ensure people who do the right thing are not penalised by local authorities.

Why is this idea important?

Like many, i have done the right thing and bought my own home so i'm not reliant on social housing, which is fortunate as i don't think i'd be eligable being the most discriminated against sector of society…. single white male without children.

 

having bought a house in need of investment, (the onle one i could afford), at great financial discomfort, i am now forced to pay council tax on this whilst i renovate it. This prevents me from investing in the house so i can live in it, at which time i will be eligable for a 25% discount.

 

I am investing in the local housing stock, but there is no incentive to do so. The council tax exemptions should be updated to ensure people who do the right thing are not penalised by local authorities.

Modification of the council tax legistration.

Because as it is presently enforced it violates ones right to PRIVACY.The right to the PEACEFUL ENJOYMENT OF ONES HOME AND PROPERTY and in certain cases THE RIGHT TO LIFE itself.

The responsibility for council tax should be placed back onto the individual where every one living in an L.A. area should be registered and made responsible for paying the tax.With exceptions for hardship.

Let those European anti's remember that it is the ordinary people who benefit most from Eouropean law.

Why is this idea important?

Because as it is presently enforced it violates ones right to PRIVACY.The right to the PEACEFUL ENJOYMENT OF ONES HOME AND PROPERTY and in certain cases THE RIGHT TO LIFE itself.

The responsibility for council tax should be placed back onto the individual where every one living in an L.A. area should be registered and made responsible for paying the tax.With exceptions for hardship.

Let those European anti's remember that it is the ordinary people who benefit most from Eouropean law.

Repeal COUNCIL TAX (ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT REGULATIONS) 1992 et al

Scrap this intrusive and draconian law which robs us of our privacy in our own home, makes criminals out of innocent people and generates ridiculous amounts of paperwork for local councils.

It is wrong that if you do not fill in the form within 14 days you are comitting a criminal offence.

It is wrong that you can be charged and or fined for the expenses in officials  coming to yoru home to interrogate you and your family.

The powers of the act have been increased beyone what is reasonable in subsequent acts in 1993,1998, and 2003.

Why is this idea important?

Scrap this intrusive and draconian law which robs us of our privacy in our own home, makes criminals out of innocent people and generates ridiculous amounts of paperwork for local councils.

It is wrong that if you do not fill in the form within 14 days you are comitting a criminal offence.

It is wrong that you can be charged and or fined for the expenses in officials  coming to yoru home to interrogate you and your family.

The powers of the act have been increased beyone what is reasonable in subsequent acts in 1993,1998, and 2003.

Council Tax – Extended Families Living In One House

Extended families who decide to live in one house are required to pay TWO lots of Council Tax if their situation involves a second kitchen, and it would seem, and cloakroom with a shower cubicle on the ground floor when their is already a bathroom on the first floor.

Our situation reveals the very unjust nature of the regulations, or the interpretation and enforcement of them.  They seem to be used in order to generate addition revenue from extended families, rather than from landlords who subdivide a house and rent them out to tenants.

There is no physical division of our property, and because of the open aspect of the house there is no privacy for any of the generations.  As we are one extended family living together in a house this is fully acceptable to us.

We are an extended family, consisting of two grandparents, their daughter, and 2 grandsons.  The grandparents and daughter bought the property together in 2004, and are therefore joint owners, rather than one or the other being a tenant.  The grandparents own two thirds of the property and the daughter owns one third.

 

  • The grandparents occupy, nominally, the ground floor for various reasons, e.g.
  •  

  • Their ages.
  • There are only two of them.
  • The grandmother has arthritic problems with her knees, and being mainly on the ground floor avoids the pain associated with ascending stairs.
  •  

  • The daughter and her two sons occupy nominally the first and second floors, as they need more bedrooms.
  •  

  • In view of the arthritic problems with the grandmother’s knees, a shower cubicle was placed in the ground floor cloakroom.  This obviated the need for her to suffer unnecessary pain ascending the stairs to the bathroom and climbing into the bath.

    The shower in the ground floor cloakroom is not an unusual facility; it is very common these days, and prevents queues in the morning/evening.

  •  
  • This showerroom has been given as one of the 2 reasons why we should pay TWO lots of Council Tax.

    It should be said that the daughter and her sons also use the ground floor shower as the occasion demands.  Similarly, the grandfather uses the upstairs bathroom 3-4 times a week to have a bath, in preference to a shower.

  •  

  • If three generations live too closely together it would be normal for relational friction to occur.  In an effort to avoid this pitfall with our joint ownership of the house, we utilised two of the first floor bedrooms as a lounge and a dining room.  Whilst we “visit” each other, this does mean that each generation has its own space, and this has proved successful in that aim.
  •  

  • We do have meals together, but, naturally, the younger generations have tastes that differ from the older generation.  To cater for the times when the younger folk desire a different type of meal, we fitted out a small kitchenette in the first floor small bedroom.  This avoids two different meals being cooked in the main ground floor kitchen.  This situation is aggravated by medical dietary need in respect of both grandchildren.
  • This is given fro the other reason why we should pay TWO lots of Council Tax.

     

  • We can understand the legislator’s original intention, when formulating the Regulations, to raise council tax on individual flats when a house is physically divided into distinct living units.

    What we cannot accept is that it was their intention to penalise extended families who decide to buy a house together, to live together, and take a few simple precautions to avoid the natural pitfalls that exist when three generations of a family live together in one house.

    To impose an additional council tax burden on such a family, and make it impossible to sell the house, when that time arises, is unjust, unfair, and must be contrary to the original intentions of the legislators.

  •  
  • These regulationare, or their interpretation is unjuust to ordinary residents consisting of an extended family that decides to live together in a house that is not subdivided into flats.
  •  
  • Either the legislations should be repealed, or the interpretation should be changed so that only landlords are affected, not extended families.
  • Why is this idea important?

    Extended families who decide to live in one house are required to pay TWO lots of Council Tax if their situation involves a second kitchen, and it would seem, and cloakroom with a shower cubicle on the ground floor when their is already a bathroom on the first floor.

    Our situation reveals the very unjust nature of the regulations, or the interpretation and enforcement of them.  They seem to be used in order to generate addition revenue from extended families, rather than from landlords who subdivide a house and rent them out to tenants.

    There is no physical division of our property, and because of the open aspect of the house there is no privacy for any of the generations.  As we are one extended family living together in a house this is fully acceptable to us.

    We are an extended family, consisting of two grandparents, their daughter, and 2 grandsons.  The grandparents and daughter bought the property together in 2004, and are therefore joint owners, rather than one or the other being a tenant.  The grandparents own two thirds of the property and the daughter owns one third.

     

  • The grandparents occupy, nominally, the ground floor for various reasons, e.g.
  •  

  • Their ages.
  • There are only two of them.
  • The grandmother has arthritic problems with her knees, and being mainly on the ground floor avoids the pain associated with ascending stairs.
  •  

  • The daughter and her two sons occupy nominally the first and second floors, as they need more bedrooms.
  •  

  • In view of the arthritic problems with the grandmother’s knees, a shower cubicle was placed in the ground floor cloakroom.  This obviated the need for her to suffer unnecessary pain ascending the stairs to the bathroom and climbing into the bath.

    The shower in the ground floor cloakroom is not an unusual facility; it is very common these days, and prevents queues in the morning/evening.

  •  
  • This showerroom has been given as one of the 2 reasons why we should pay TWO lots of Council Tax.

    It should be said that the daughter and her sons also use the ground floor shower as the occasion demands.  Similarly, the grandfather uses the upstairs bathroom 3-4 times a week to have a bath, in preference to a shower.

  •  

  • If three generations live too closely together it would be normal for relational friction to occur.  In an effort to avoid this pitfall with our joint ownership of the house, we utilised two of the first floor bedrooms as a lounge and a dining room.  Whilst we “visit” each other, this does mean that each generation has its own space, and this has proved successful in that aim.
  •  

  • We do have meals together, but, naturally, the younger generations have tastes that differ from the older generation.  To cater for the times when the younger folk desire a different type of meal, we fitted out a small kitchenette in the first floor small bedroom.  This avoids two different meals being cooked in the main ground floor kitchen.  This situation is aggravated by medical dietary need in respect of both grandchildren.
  • This is given fro the other reason why we should pay TWO lots of Council Tax.

     

  • We can understand the legislator’s original intention, when formulating the Regulations, to raise council tax on individual flats when a house is physically divided into distinct living units.

    What we cannot accept is that it was their intention to penalise extended families who decide to buy a house together, to live together, and take a few simple precautions to avoid the natural pitfalls that exist when three generations of a family live together in one house.

    To impose an additional council tax burden on such a family, and make it impossible to sell the house, when that time arises, is unjust, unfair, and must be contrary to the original intentions of the legislators.

  •  
  • These regulationare, or their interpretation is unjuust to ordinary residents consisting of an extended family that decides to live together in a house that is not subdivided into flats.
  •  
  • Either the legislations should be repealed, or the interpretation should be changed so that only landlords are affected, not extended families.
  • Review of non dependant deductions on Housing and Council Tax Benefit

     

     

     

     

     

    In my opinion non dependant deductionson housing benefit  forces families to look for ways of beating the benefit system.

    Non dependants who manage to find a job suddenly move out of the family home the same day they start working.  They say they are moving to a family or friends home who is not claiming housing benefit, more than likely they do not actually move out.

    Rather than raise the non dependant deductions rates I think that they should be lowered so that they do not encourage people to go to the lengths to say they have moved address.   I believe that  this a common occurrence  and  a change needs to be made to the rules so that no one needs to lie about where they are living.

    For the current rates of non dependant deductions (Click here)

    Why is this idea important?

     

     

     

     

     

    In my opinion non dependant deductionson housing benefit  forces families to look for ways of beating the benefit system.

    Non dependants who manage to find a job suddenly move out of the family home the same day they start working.  They say they are moving to a family or friends home who is not claiming housing benefit, more than likely they do not actually move out.

    Rather than raise the non dependant deductions rates I think that they should be lowered so that they do not encourage people to go to the lengths to say they have moved address.   I believe that  this a common occurrence  and  a change needs to be made to the rules so that no one needs to lie about where they are living.

    For the current rates of non dependant deductions (Click here)

    Allow Local Authorities to use Electoral Roll to Prevent Fraud

    At present local authorities are having to pay Experian, the Credit Reference Agency to match their own electoral roll against their own council tax records to identify people claiming a council tax discount for living alone, when other adults live at the address and are registered at the address to vote. This is becauise the law does mot allow the Council to do this data matching itself, but a credit reference agency can.

    This is a ridiculous state of affairs. A simple data match that could be done on a PC is costing each Council £15,000 or more putting millions of pounds of public money into Experian's pocket. The law should be changed so Councils can do this simple check themselves. 

    Why is this idea important?

    At present local authorities are having to pay Experian, the Credit Reference Agency to match their own electoral roll against their own council tax records to identify people claiming a council tax discount for living alone, when other adults live at the address and are registered at the address to vote. This is becauise the law does mot allow the Council to do this data matching itself, but a credit reference agency can.

    This is a ridiculous state of affairs. A simple data match that could be done on a PC is costing each Council £15,000 or more putting millions of pounds of public money into Experian's pocket. The law should be changed so Councils can do this simple check themselves. 

    Re voters roll

    Why do we need a different group of people to collect the information for the voters roll?

    Why can't  the information be collected with the council tax?

    Why is this idea important?

    Why do we need a different group of people to collect the information for the voters roll?

    Why can't  the information be collected with the council tax?

    re council tax

    I think council tax should be axed. I receive very poor service for my fee. Councils need to be more responsible for what they spend. The rest of europe isn't fleeced for council tax as well as I am aware.

    Why is this idea important?

    I think council tax should be axed. I receive very poor service for my fee. Councils need to be more responsible for what they spend. The rest of europe isn't fleeced for council tax as well as I am aware.

    SCRAP THE COUNCIL TAX AND BRING BACK PROPERTY TAX

    My house is a 1 bedroomed terraced house over 120 years old in a litter strewn potholed back street with back alleys reminiscent of some 3rd Wotld country -choked with weeds. It is in Rossendale Borough Council area and is worth around £60k.and is in Band A for Council Tax purposes.

    Here we pay 2.4 times the rate of Council Tax charged in the Westminster City area -yes, there are flats within sight of Harrods on Brompton Road which pay the same rate as I do and yet are worth probably 7 or more times the value of mine.

     

    Many years ago we had what I think was called Schedule 'A' Property Tax. Each house was valued by the District Valuer and you paid a fixed percentage of that value per annum.

     

    If we had stuck to that system we would not have had the mad Property Boom and young people today would be able to afford a home which today they find impossible.

     

    So having a Property Tax which is the same rate everywhere would not only be fairer but would banish speculation and greed in property sales etc. 

    Why is this idea important?

    My house is a 1 bedroomed terraced house over 120 years old in a litter strewn potholed back street with back alleys reminiscent of some 3rd Wotld country -choked with weeds. It is in Rossendale Borough Council area and is worth around £60k.and is in Band A for Council Tax purposes.

    Here we pay 2.4 times the rate of Council Tax charged in the Westminster City area -yes, there are flats within sight of Harrods on Brompton Road which pay the same rate as I do and yet are worth probably 7 or more times the value of mine.

     

    Many years ago we had what I think was called Schedule 'A' Property Tax. Each house was valued by the District Valuer and you paid a fixed percentage of that value per annum.

     

    If we had stuck to that system we would not have had the mad Property Boom and young people today would be able to afford a home which today they find impossible.

     

    So having a Property Tax which is the same rate everywhere would not only be fairer but would banish speculation and greed in property sales etc. 

    Make Council council tax and spending plans available to the public prior to council elections

    Council spending and tax plans only ever seem to be made public at a time when that particular council is not undergoing an election. This practice is completely unfair as the electorate are expected to place their vote without knowing what what they are necessarily voting for. Parties being elected to a local council should be under an obligation to publish this information aon the run up to local elections.

    Why is this idea important?

    Council spending and tax plans only ever seem to be made public at a time when that particular council is not undergoing an election. This practice is completely unfair as the electorate are expected to place their vote without knowing what what they are necessarily voting for. Parties being elected to a local council should be under an obligation to publish this information aon the run up to local elections.

    Only 10% Council tax discount for an unoccupied property is unfair

    When we moved to Ireland for a medical fellowship (part of my medical training). I have to pay 90% of my council tax. That is not fair! Not just for me but those who inherit an unoccupied property have to pay the same until the house is sold. This is a crazy punitive tax. A 50% discount (as it was before labour) I would accept.

    See letter I received from Plymouth council;

    I refer to your email sent to Mr x about council tax discounts.

    Prior to 2003, if a property was nobody’s main residence but furnished, the law provided that all billing authorities should allow a 50% discount. From 1st April 2004, billing authorities were given the discretion to vary the amount of discount for such properties to some percentage between 10% and 50%. Plymouth City Council, by resolution of the Council, chose to reduce the discount from 50% to 10%. In my opinion, this has been done lawfully in accordance with government legislation, although if you want to challenge this resolution, I would suggest you contact your solicitor who will advise you of the procedure you would need to follow.

    If the percentage was to be changed, it would need to be by a further resolution of the Council but would only apply to future years and not the current financial year.

    With regard to the fact that you will not be getting anything for your money, I would advise that council tax is a tax on the occupation or ownership of domestic property and is not a payment for service. It could be that the owner of a property may have been permanently living abroad for years, not set foot in the UK for the whole of the financial year and pay no UK income tax but he would still be liable for council tax.

    If you have any further queries, please contact me again.

    Yours sincerely

    Why is this idea important?

    When we moved to Ireland for a medical fellowship (part of my medical training). I have to pay 90% of my council tax. That is not fair! Not just for me but those who inherit an unoccupied property have to pay the same until the house is sold. This is a crazy punitive tax. A 50% discount (as it was before labour) I would accept.

    See letter I received from Plymouth council;

    I refer to your email sent to Mr x about council tax discounts.

    Prior to 2003, if a property was nobody’s main residence but furnished, the law provided that all billing authorities should allow a 50% discount. From 1st April 2004, billing authorities were given the discretion to vary the amount of discount for such properties to some percentage between 10% and 50%. Plymouth City Council, by resolution of the Council, chose to reduce the discount from 50% to 10%. In my opinion, this has been done lawfully in accordance with government legislation, although if you want to challenge this resolution, I would suggest you contact your solicitor who will advise you of the procedure you would need to follow.

    If the percentage was to be changed, it would need to be by a further resolution of the Council but would only apply to future years and not the current financial year.

    With regard to the fact that you will not be getting anything for your money, I would advise that council tax is a tax on the occupation or ownership of domestic property and is not a payment for service. It could be that the owner of a property may have been permanently living abroad for years, not set foot in the UK for the whole of the financial year and pay no UK income tax but he would still be liable for council tax.

    If you have any further queries, please contact me again.

    Yours sincerely

    Fund Local Authorities with local income tax.

    The concept of Council Tax was ill thought out and rushed in as a knee jerk response to replace the Community Charge.  The Community Charge was an excellent idea because it was based on the not unreasonable notion that everyone in a society should contribute to funding the services which they all receive in one way or another.  One person living alone would sensibly pay less than a family of 4 or 5 or more living in an identical property next door.

    The old rating system was totally bankrupt and becoming untenable and unworkable; it needed replacing.  Whether or not the Community Charge was the ideal solution to replace it is open to debat,e but what I firmly beleive most people would agree with is that Council Tax is now in the same boat as the former rating system at the end of its life.  Council Tax combines the worst aspects of both the rating system and the Community Charge in that it presupposes that the house you live in is in direct correlation to your personal wealth and hence your ability to pay; it then also includes any other people in the property when over the age of 18 but does not make them responsible for their contribution, hence the entire burden falls on the householder.

    Many thousands of people bought properties during the period of the Community Charge, properties they would not have considered previously because of the burden of rates.  These same people are now assumed to be of a certain wealth for no better reason than the Council Tax band which their property has arbiitrarily been put into when they are actually no better off than they were previously.

    Council Tax has increased remorselessly and it is the higher bands which take most of the starin because the percentage increase is applied to an ever increasing larger sum than is the case in the lower bands.  That having been said the overall level of Council Tax is now as untenable and unrealistic as was the former Rates System.  On a personal note our Council Tax has increased by around 185% since we have been in our property; would that our income had similarly increased.

    Council Tax is putting the same artificial brake on the housing market that Rates did and making it particularly difficult for people to get onto the housing ladder even if they can get a mortgage because they still have to consider the onerous burden of ongoing Council Tax.  A mortgage does eventually end, Council Tax doesn't; even if you can afford the house the Council Tax makes it an unrealistic option to purchase a house that is otherwise affordable.

    It used to be a Liberal Democrat policy to replace Council Tax with a local income tax and I would fully support this idea should it be resurrected.  The only proviso I would make is that it should be administered by the Inland Revenue and not the Local Authorities and it should be a set at a uniform rate, not variable from one council area to another; any genuine shortfalls being made up from the government support grants.  It makes ultimate sense that those who can afford to pay should pay and your ability to pay should not be based, and more often than not erroneously, on the banding of your house.

    Whether or not a local income tax is introduced Council Tax is desperately in need of reform to ease the burden it has now become for thousands of households across the country whose Council Tax is actually more than they pay for their mortgage.

    Why is this idea important?

    The concept of Council Tax was ill thought out and rushed in as a knee jerk response to replace the Community Charge.  The Community Charge was an excellent idea because it was based on the not unreasonable notion that everyone in a society should contribute to funding the services which they all receive in one way or another.  One person living alone would sensibly pay less than a family of 4 or 5 or more living in an identical property next door.

    The old rating system was totally bankrupt and becoming untenable and unworkable; it needed replacing.  Whether or not the Community Charge was the ideal solution to replace it is open to debat,e but what I firmly beleive most people would agree with is that Council Tax is now in the same boat as the former rating system at the end of its life.  Council Tax combines the worst aspects of both the rating system and the Community Charge in that it presupposes that the house you live in is in direct correlation to your personal wealth and hence your ability to pay; it then also includes any other people in the property when over the age of 18 but does not make them responsible for their contribution, hence the entire burden falls on the householder.

    Many thousands of people bought properties during the period of the Community Charge, properties they would not have considered previously because of the burden of rates.  These same people are now assumed to be of a certain wealth for no better reason than the Council Tax band which their property has arbiitrarily been put into when they are actually no better off than they were previously.

    Council Tax has increased remorselessly and it is the higher bands which take most of the starin because the percentage increase is applied to an ever increasing larger sum than is the case in the lower bands.  That having been said the overall level of Council Tax is now as untenable and unrealistic as was the former Rates System.  On a personal note our Council Tax has increased by around 185% since we have been in our property; would that our income had similarly increased.

    Council Tax is putting the same artificial brake on the housing market that Rates did and making it particularly difficult for people to get onto the housing ladder even if they can get a mortgage because they still have to consider the onerous burden of ongoing Council Tax.  A mortgage does eventually end, Council Tax doesn't; even if you can afford the house the Council Tax makes it an unrealistic option to purchase a house that is otherwise affordable.

    It used to be a Liberal Democrat policy to replace Council Tax with a local income tax and I would fully support this idea should it be resurrected.  The only proviso I would make is that it should be administered by the Inland Revenue and not the Local Authorities and it should be a set at a uniform rate, not variable from one council area to another; any genuine shortfalls being made up from the government support grants.  It makes ultimate sense that those who can afford to pay should pay and your ability to pay should not be based, and more often than not erroneously, on the banding of your house.

    Whether or not a local income tax is introduced Council Tax is desperately in need of reform to ease the burden it has now become for thousands of households across the country whose Council Tax is actually more than they pay for their mortgage.

    Land Tax

    First of all I would like to thank Nick Clegg for this opportunity to have some useful input directly into government policy. My personal circumstances are that my current landlord has given me 60 days notice to leave my private let (via a letting agent) house because he needs to sell in order to repay certain debts he has acquired in the current economic climate.

    The area I live in there simply isn’t any housing available to let privately, and those that are coming onto the market are well above my finical means. I earn too much for the local council to help me. I need to be homeless for a minimum of 30 days before the council can offer any help.

    There are plenty of empty houses in the area I drive past dozens on my way to work so who knows how many more there are in the side roads. These are of course investment properties whereby the owners are waiting for the property market to recover before they restore, develop, or just redecorate to sell on for a profit.

    This is a situation that simply does not exist in Germany. The German government charges a ‘Land Tax’ on all property. With residential properties the residents pay the land tax as part of their council tax.

    Often in some city areas the land tax is higher that the council tax thus encouraging property owners to have tenants occupying their properties as much as possible.

    Why is this idea important?

    First of all I would like to thank Nick Clegg for this opportunity to have some useful input directly into government policy. My personal circumstances are that my current landlord has given me 60 days notice to leave my private let (via a letting agent) house because he needs to sell in order to repay certain debts he has acquired in the current economic climate.

    The area I live in there simply isn’t any housing available to let privately, and those that are coming onto the market are well above my finical means. I earn too much for the local council to help me. I need to be homeless for a minimum of 30 days before the council can offer any help.

    There are plenty of empty houses in the area I drive past dozens on my way to work so who knows how many more there are in the side roads. These are of course investment properties whereby the owners are waiting for the property market to recover before they restore, develop, or just redecorate to sell on for a profit.

    This is a situation that simply does not exist in Germany. The German government charges a ‘Land Tax’ on all property. With residential properties the residents pay the land tax as part of their council tax.

    Often in some city areas the land tax is higher that the council tax thus encouraging property owners to have tenants occupying their properties as much as possible.

    Clarification of data sharing obligations of public bodies

    To provide a simple requirement to cover the obligations of public bodies to provide (or not) information to each other.

    One example of this is Section 17 of Schedule 2 of the Local Government Act 1992, This protects peoples data collected for Council Tax purposes, but appears to conflict with legislation covering, amongst others, HMRC, the police and the CSA. All of these have generic legislation, but make many requests for information from Council Tax authorities, whereas there is specific legislation covering electoral registration and certain housing functions.

    There must be many other examples of this where similar disclosure (or non-disclosure) requirements exist.

    These uncertainties and conflicts could be removed by a simple piece of generic legislation which could either enable disclosure, or prevent it. I would be happy either way – I just want a) clarity and b) to stop endless arguments about whether someone is entitled to information or not

    Why is this idea important?

    To provide a simple requirement to cover the obligations of public bodies to provide (or not) information to each other.

    One example of this is Section 17 of Schedule 2 of the Local Government Act 1992, This protects peoples data collected for Council Tax purposes, but appears to conflict with legislation covering, amongst others, HMRC, the police and the CSA. All of these have generic legislation, but make many requests for information from Council Tax authorities, whereas there is specific legislation covering electoral registration and certain housing functions.

    There must be many other examples of this where similar disclosure (or non-disclosure) requirements exist.

    These uncertainties and conflicts could be removed by a simple piece of generic legislation which could either enable disclosure, or prevent it. I would be happy either way – I just want a) clarity and b) to stop endless arguments about whether someone is entitled to information or not

    Renting

    If a minimum term is required it should not exceed six months from when the tenant first moves in with no further minimum terms allowed.  Tenants could reasonably be charged a penalty of, say, two month’s rent if they leave within six months.

    A non-student sharing a house or flat with students should be charged council tax only on his share of the dwelling, not on the entire dwelling.

     

    Why is this idea important?

    If a minimum term is required it should not exceed six months from when the tenant first moves in with no further minimum terms allowed.  Tenants could reasonably be charged a penalty of, say, two month’s rent if they leave within six months.

    A non-student sharing a house or flat with students should be charged council tax only on his share of the dwelling, not on the entire dwelling.

     

    Abolish Council Tax Capping

    Repeal central government's power arbitrarily to limit the power of local councils to raise money to fund the local services people want.

    It would need to be done in the context of a thorough look at the operation of the present Council Tax arrangements, which are opaque to the ordinary citizen, unfair in many respects, and increasingly out of kilter with the economics of a rational tax base.  This tax base could, with advantage, be broadened.

    Difficult stuff, but a re-casting of the system could improve the standard of locally-provided services and re-invigorate our democracy at both local and national levels.

    Why is this idea important?

    Repeal central government's power arbitrarily to limit the power of local councils to raise money to fund the local services people want.

    It would need to be done in the context of a thorough look at the operation of the present Council Tax arrangements, which are opaque to the ordinary citizen, unfair in many respects, and increasingly out of kilter with the economics of a rational tax base.  This tax base could, with advantage, be broadened.

    Difficult stuff, but a re-casting of the system could improve the standard of locally-provided services and re-invigorate our democracy at both local and national levels.

    TV Licence rolled into Council Tax

    Let be realistic here – the vast majority of us have a television or radio or laptop.

    Whether you watch / listen / read the BBC content on TV / Radio / BBC News Website is broadly irrelevant. You still benefit from the competition the BBC provides to other terrestrial broadcasters and SKY etc.

    This comes in the form of enhanced content, training of talent, and downward pressure on advertising time, to name but a few.

    The benefits of scrapping the individual TV license and making it a basic additional to council tax would simply be a reduction in, bureaucracy and costs. 

    No one would ever again be prosecuted or taken to court on the basis of not paying their licence fee.

    Why is this idea important?

    Let be realistic here – the vast majority of us have a television or radio or laptop.

    Whether you watch / listen / read the BBC content on TV / Radio / BBC News Website is broadly irrelevant. You still benefit from the competition the BBC provides to other terrestrial broadcasters and SKY etc.

    This comes in the form of enhanced content, training of talent, and downward pressure on advertising time, to name but a few.

    The benefits of scrapping the individual TV license and making it a basic additional to council tax would simply be a reduction in, bureaucracy and costs. 

    No one would ever again be prosecuted or taken to court on the basis of not paying their licence fee.

    Council Tax Relief

    Scrap it. Every owner of every home in the country pays, regardless of whether this is a main residence or second home, and regardless of whether it is occupied or empty.

    The additional income would be a useful top-up to local council funds, and the effect of making everybody pay would help iron out some of the problems caused by landlords leaving properties empty for year after year, and it would make it less attractive for  the wealthy to destroy communities by snapping up housing and leaving it empty for most of the year. There would also be a small administrative gain – no need to check on the actual status of a home if every home is paying tax with no exceptions.

    Why is this idea important?

    Scrap it. Every owner of every home in the country pays, regardless of whether this is a main residence or second home, and regardless of whether it is occupied or empty.

    The additional income would be a useful top-up to local council funds, and the effect of making everybody pay would help iron out some of the problems caused by landlords leaving properties empty for year after year, and it would make it less attractive for  the wealthy to destroy communities by snapping up housing and leaving it empty for most of the year. There would also be a small administrative gain – no need to check on the actual status of a home if every home is paying tax with no exceptions.

    court costs for non payment of council tax

    When people are struggling to pay council tax, do not add court costs as it makes it even harder to pay. People just need to pay over 12 months not 10 as they dont get paid any earlier.

    Why is this idea important?

    When people are struggling to pay council tax, do not add court costs as it makes it even harder to pay. People just need to pay over 12 months not 10 as they dont get paid any earlier.

    Poll Tax

    I'm sorry everyone but I thought this was a brilliant idea.

    Any one over the age of 18 should pay into the collective pot.

    If you have Police, Ambulance service, Fire brigade, hospitals, refuse collection, street cleaning, libraries, street lighting etc etc surely everyone who enjoys the benefits of these should contribute.

    The idea of  council tax (was rates) based on property where 10 people could live paying the same as a house where 2 people live is ludicrous and arcane.

    Also the idea of someone driving round looking at the outside of property and deciding what value council tax should be levied is idiotic. I used to live in an enourmous house on 6 floors but was only charged a 'C' band because only 3 floors were visible from the street.

    Obviously there would be exceptions as now with single occupation, disabled or students etc, but surely a fixed fee of say £2 per day – £14 a week  (£728 per person per year) is much fairer than 10 people paying towards an amount of say £2000.00 pa .

    And why are inmates of HM prisons exempt? and visiting diplomats – I'm sure if they were in a fire or being petrol bombed they'd be be quite pleased to see a fireman, bobby or paramedic.

    Also the Directgov website tells us all how to pay, where, discounts, reductions, etc but when I searched for "What should I get for my money?" – nothing manifested itself.

     

    Why is this idea important?

    I'm sorry everyone but I thought this was a brilliant idea.

    Any one over the age of 18 should pay into the collective pot.

    If you have Police, Ambulance service, Fire brigade, hospitals, refuse collection, street cleaning, libraries, street lighting etc etc surely everyone who enjoys the benefits of these should contribute.

    The idea of  council tax (was rates) based on property where 10 people could live paying the same as a house where 2 people live is ludicrous and arcane.

    Also the idea of someone driving round looking at the outside of property and deciding what value council tax should be levied is idiotic. I used to live in an enourmous house on 6 floors but was only charged a 'C' band because only 3 floors were visible from the street.

    Obviously there would be exceptions as now with single occupation, disabled or students etc, but surely a fixed fee of say £2 per day – £14 a week  (£728 per person per year) is much fairer than 10 people paying towards an amount of say £2000.00 pa .

    And why are inmates of HM prisons exempt? and visiting diplomats – I'm sure if they were in a fire or being petrol bombed they'd be be quite pleased to see a fireman, bobby or paramedic.

    Also the Directgov website tells us all how to pay, where, discounts, reductions, etc but when I searched for "What should I get for my money?" – nothing manifested itself.

     

    council tax and student accommodation

    The Cornish towns of Penryn and Falmouth have recently seen a massive influx of students following the opening of Exeter University's Tremough Campus. This has resulted in hundreds of houses in the towns and neighbouring communities being purchased by absentee landlords who rent them out as multiple occupancy accommodation for students.

    Students do not have to pay council tax on their accommodation……..and neither do the owners! This huge loophole in the law means that no council tax is being collected on at least one third of properties in the town with the burden of the tax resting on local householders in an area already known for its low wages and high living costs.

    Whole streets have been taken over by student accommodation resulting in a number of social issues, such as refuse bags being left out at all times for seagulls to rip open; houses that are not properly maintained by the absentee landlord/owner; and locals being forced to sell up as they find themselves surrounded on all sides by young people who are nautrally enjoying their first taste of freedom from home!

    A know the two towns are delighted to house the university, but this loophole in the law allows the property owners to make huge sums of  money through student rents, without contributing to the council tax burden and public services. This is happening in every university town in the country, and in my opinion, is unfair and should be rectified.  

    Why is this idea important?

    The Cornish towns of Penryn and Falmouth have recently seen a massive influx of students following the opening of Exeter University's Tremough Campus. This has resulted in hundreds of houses in the towns and neighbouring communities being purchased by absentee landlords who rent them out as multiple occupancy accommodation for students.

    Students do not have to pay council tax on their accommodation……..and neither do the owners! This huge loophole in the law means that no council tax is being collected on at least one third of properties in the town with the burden of the tax resting on local householders in an area already known for its low wages and high living costs.

    Whole streets have been taken over by student accommodation resulting in a number of social issues, such as refuse bags being left out at all times for seagulls to rip open; houses that are not properly maintained by the absentee landlord/owner; and locals being forced to sell up as they find themselves surrounded on all sides by young people who are nautrally enjoying their first taste of freedom from home!

    A know the two towns are delighted to house the university, but this loophole in the law allows the property owners to make huge sums of  money through student rents, without contributing to the council tax burden and public services. This is happening in every university town in the country, and in my opinion, is unfair and should be rectified.  

    Drastically reduce or remove council tax

    The introduction of council tax wasnt popular and i think we can all see why..

    Every month we have to pay rent/mortgage at inflated prices, gas,electricity,water, phone, broadband, car tax, car insurance, road tax, tv license, and council tax.

    the only reason i work is to not go to prison for unpaid bills and even still, i cant afford to live properly because of the ridiculous amounts of tax and forced things we have to pay for.

    everything should be pay as you use.

    We never get a voice. we never get a say and we are always ignored

    tv license is to pay for BBC – if i watch itv or sky (which also costs money) i still have to buy a license tio support a station i dont watch or its a fine. so i have to buy a tv, pay for electric, buy a license, pay for sky and not watch bbc whilst still paying for it.

    Bailiffs are another example of being let down by the government, money i have never owed, yet a bailiff turns up and bullys, harrasses and threatens innocent people – ask them if they can prove it, they say no and they dont have to and ruin your life.

    council tax – my bins are never collected, i dont use the police or ambulance or fire or the council. if i did, id rather pay as i went (every one call i pay a months equivalent of council tax)

    I pay the council and yet, they wont fix the pot holes, they dont clean the streets, they wont fix the lighting, or answer their phones.

    Where else have we been ignored? Passports, i paid an inflated price to fund the id card scheme, which is scrapped, yet i bet the passport price doesnt get reduced? or a refund on the difference offered? or a refund to people with id cards?

    We live to work to pay people and get nothing in return.

    My bank…lloyds tsb..bailed out by tax payers money, i ask for a temporary 100 pound overdraft and i am told no because i am a financial risk?? yet my money – that i have no choice about where it goes – saved them.. helpful banking they promised me, yet refuses me overdraft or if i go 4p over drawn charges me £40 and says they cant stop the charge, which is unfair and the government have done nothing about.

    You mighht read these, but nothing of use will ever been done, and we are destined to continue to live to line your pockets and have no life of our own.

    Why is this idea important?

    The introduction of council tax wasnt popular and i think we can all see why..

    Every month we have to pay rent/mortgage at inflated prices, gas,electricity,water, phone, broadband, car tax, car insurance, road tax, tv license, and council tax.

    the only reason i work is to not go to prison for unpaid bills and even still, i cant afford to live properly because of the ridiculous amounts of tax and forced things we have to pay for.

    everything should be pay as you use.

    We never get a voice. we never get a say and we are always ignored

    tv license is to pay for BBC – if i watch itv or sky (which also costs money) i still have to buy a license tio support a station i dont watch or its a fine. so i have to buy a tv, pay for electric, buy a license, pay for sky and not watch bbc whilst still paying for it.

    Bailiffs are another example of being let down by the government, money i have never owed, yet a bailiff turns up and bullys, harrasses and threatens innocent people – ask them if they can prove it, they say no and they dont have to and ruin your life.

    council tax – my bins are never collected, i dont use the police or ambulance or fire or the council. if i did, id rather pay as i went (every one call i pay a months equivalent of council tax)

    I pay the council and yet, they wont fix the pot holes, they dont clean the streets, they wont fix the lighting, or answer their phones.

    Where else have we been ignored? Passports, i paid an inflated price to fund the id card scheme, which is scrapped, yet i bet the passport price doesnt get reduced? or a refund on the difference offered? or a refund to people with id cards?

    We live to work to pay people and get nothing in return.

    My bank…lloyds tsb..bailed out by tax payers money, i ask for a temporary 100 pound overdraft and i am told no because i am a financial risk?? yet my money – that i have no choice about where it goes – saved them.. helpful banking they promised me, yet refuses me overdraft or if i go 4p over drawn charges me £40 and says they cant stop the charge, which is unfair and the government have done nothing about.

    You mighht read these, but nothing of use will ever been done, and we are destined to continue to live to line your pockets and have no life of our own.

    Supermarkets to contribute

    Instead of householders paying more in council tax to enable the councils to recycle more why not ask the Supermarkets to contribute?

    We, as the consumer, buy most of our food in packaging which we end up having to recycle. This is not a bad thing in asking us to put out the right bits in the right boxes thus reducing more that goes into landfill BUT why aren't the Supermarkets being asked to contribute to the recycling schemes. For example, they could pay for all the new recycling and wheelie bins that have recently been distrubted in our area as well as part funding the contractors costs for collecting.

     

    Why is this idea important?

    Instead of householders paying more in council tax to enable the councils to recycle more why not ask the Supermarkets to contribute?

    We, as the consumer, buy most of our food in packaging which we end up having to recycle. This is not a bad thing in asking us to put out the right bits in the right boxes thus reducing more that goes into landfill BUT why aren't the Supermarkets being asked to contribute to the recycling schemes. For example, they could pay for all the new recycling and wheelie bins that have recently been distrubted in our area as well as part funding the contractors costs for collecting.

     

    Abolish Council Tax it is Obsolete Replace it with Local V.A.T.

    Council tax is a tax that is extremely unfair. It is devisive and discriminatory. Each home was banded according to a value which was determined by an estate agent driving round the street giving values to each property.  These values placed each owner in a particular band. This way of banding property took no account of the ability to pay by the owner and subsequently became a tax/demand.  The whole sorry episode was a knee jerk reaction to the failed community charge, and was not thought out properly or calculated fairly. It is also impossible to get your banding changed if as an individual think you are in the wrong band. I know to my own experience. I am placed in band "E" wheras alll my neighbours are band "C". It is obvious to me that there was an error in the valuation probably the estate agent whizzing past my property but try to get it changed not a chance. I have even had veiled threats by the Valuation  Office to drop my request to reband me.  But back to the system as a whole. Why should a pensioner on a small pension be in the position of a potential jail sentance if they cannot pay their Council Tax, just because they bought a property say in the 1960's when house prices were affordable. Why should this person be expected to be able to support those who are on benefit and do not pay these taxes. Example (not me) an Old lady  ( it always has to for example purposes)near me who is just above the benefit level who just subsists, she has no holidays, no car, her only entertainment is the Radio. She does not go out at night. Why should this old lady be expected to support a household of four adults who do not work they are subsidsed to the hilt. These four adults are down the pub getting drunk. Feeding themselves on cooked junk food, because they are too idle to cook for themselves. They come out of the pub straight to the Kebab shop. Causing general mayhem vomitiing over the street damaging the council infrastructure. They can afford to have some lifestyle but the old lady who just subsists does not but she has to contribute to their lifestyle and pay to clear up after them. This tax is unfair when looked at like this but it does happen in life.

    So my proposal and I expect you have already had this is Local V.A.T.    This would be a fairer system. The old lady would only pay for what she uses. The four adults on benefits would pay for what they use. The setting of the rate would be down to the local council. Example seaside town quite small but in the summer its visitor numbers are vastly greater than the local inhabitants. The local inhabitants have to support the visitors who use the local services and therefore under the current system pay quite a large amount of Council Tax . Under the local V.a.t. those visitors would contribute to the local economy and infrastructure. These extra local tax incomes could be ploughed back into the town and the whole town improved thereby attracting more visitors and everyone is a winner. This system could be used to improve not just the hypothetical seaside town but most areas of the U.K.  But most of all it gives you choice. Choice over how you wish to live. Choice of where you want to visit. Choice of whether you can afford it and greatest of all there will be no chance of being jailed because you cannot pay your current Council Tax.       

    Why is this idea important?

    Council tax is a tax that is extremely unfair. It is devisive and discriminatory. Each home was banded according to a value which was determined by an estate agent driving round the street giving values to each property.  These values placed each owner in a particular band. This way of banding property took no account of the ability to pay by the owner and subsequently became a tax/demand.  The whole sorry episode was a knee jerk reaction to the failed community charge, and was not thought out properly or calculated fairly. It is also impossible to get your banding changed if as an individual think you are in the wrong band. I know to my own experience. I am placed in band "E" wheras alll my neighbours are band "C". It is obvious to me that there was an error in the valuation probably the estate agent whizzing past my property but try to get it changed not a chance. I have even had veiled threats by the Valuation  Office to drop my request to reband me.  But back to the system as a whole. Why should a pensioner on a small pension be in the position of a potential jail sentance if they cannot pay their Council Tax, just because they bought a property say in the 1960's when house prices were affordable. Why should this person be expected to be able to support those who are on benefit and do not pay these taxes. Example (not me) an Old lady  ( it always has to for example purposes)near me who is just above the benefit level who just subsists, she has no holidays, no car, her only entertainment is the Radio. She does not go out at night. Why should this old lady be expected to support a household of four adults who do not work they are subsidsed to the hilt. These four adults are down the pub getting drunk. Feeding themselves on cooked junk food, because they are too idle to cook for themselves. They come out of the pub straight to the Kebab shop. Causing general mayhem vomitiing over the street damaging the council infrastructure. They can afford to have some lifestyle but the old lady who just subsists does not but she has to contribute to their lifestyle and pay to clear up after them. This tax is unfair when looked at like this but it does happen in life.

    So my proposal and I expect you have already had this is Local V.A.T.    This would be a fairer system. The old lady would only pay for what she uses. The four adults on benefits would pay for what they use. The setting of the rate would be down to the local council. Example seaside town quite small but in the summer its visitor numbers are vastly greater than the local inhabitants. The local inhabitants have to support the visitors who use the local services and therefore under the current system pay quite a large amount of Council Tax . Under the local V.a.t. those visitors would contribute to the local economy and infrastructure. These extra local tax incomes could be ploughed back into the town and the whole town improved thereby attracting more visitors and everyone is a winner. This system could be used to improve not just the hypothetical seaside town but most areas of the U.K.  But most of all it gives you choice. Choice over how you wish to live. Choice of where you want to visit. Choice of whether you can afford it and greatest of all there will be no chance of being jailed because you cannot pay your current Council Tax.