Stop Local Councils passing on personal data and reduce the amount of personal data that they are allowed to hold.

Local Councils should be prevented from passing peoples' personal data on to third parties without people's express consent, given at the relevant time and not thorugh some form of "blanket small print".

Why is this idea important?

Local Councils should be prevented from passing peoples' personal data on to third parties without people's express consent, given at the relevant time and not thorugh some form of "blanket small print".

Remove obstructive DWP rules on CTX and other in-work benefits

 

The idea that I am proposing is that the Government should take the advice of the 2006-07 Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Committee Report and review Council Tax benefits and the tapering off of all in-work benefits. The research has been done. The Report has been published. It’s available on-line on www.parliament.uk. Look at it again and give us back our freedom to go to work.

Millions of people in this country literally cannot afford to go to work because the DWP sets Council Tax benefits (or rebates) at such a low level. Many of the people on low incomes will not benefit at all from the recently announced raising of their income tax threshold because whatever they are given with one hand will be taken away by the other in reduced council tax benefit, (and, if applicable, reduced housing benefit too.) Their poverty will be perpetuated. Yet a Parliamentary Committee investigated CTX benefits and urged the Government to review these DWP rules as a matter of urgency three years ago.

In May 2007 a cross-party Select Committee on Communities and Local Government, chaired by Dr Phyllis Starkey, launched an enquiry into CTX benefit. This followed the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government. Expert evidence and advice was given by several organisations, including the New Policy Institute, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, and London Councils.

The Committee published its Report in August 2007. Paragraph 3 of its conclusions and recommendations finds that: “The council benefit taper, and its interaction with other parts of the tax and benefit system, can act as a disincentive to work. We recommend that the Government address this issue with some urgency and recognise the detrimental effects of the council tax benefit taper in its work on welfare reform.”

This recommendation was cross-referenced to Para. 17 of their Report which stated: “Sir Michael pointed out in his report on local government that the issue of work incentives is much wider than that of council tax reform. We Agree. Any reform is best considered in the context of wider welfare reform policy, but this should not be an excuse for inaction. As the Institute of Revenues Ratings and Valuations argued, a Government review of the council tax benefit taper is long overdue but the issue has been largely ignored by Government for some 20 years.”

And how does this translate into the reality of people’s lives? It means that benefits are tapered off so steeply that the amount people gain when taking on a minimum wage or part time job is so little that it doesn’t even cover the cost of transport to work. They are even worse off than living on benefits and cannot improve their lives by working. DWP regulations on Council Tax rebates prevent people from earning their living, and create difficulties for potential employers trying to take on new staff. It also prevents many people who, for various reasons such as poor health or new parenthood, can only work part time, from taking on a job, because they become liable for Council Tax before they even start paying income tax! So they have to remain on benefits even though, with a fairer CTX rebate system, they could work and be less of a burden on the state.

The Government Response to the Parliamentary Committee’s Report was published on 15 October 2007. The DWP dismissed the Report’s recommendation on the grounds that it was not affordable and that the only route for the poor to improve their lot was through the labour market. Yet the report had gone into great detail about how the poor were unable to improve their lot through the labour market because of the obstacles placed in their way by the DWP! This circularity of thought resulted in no progress in welfare reform and public money spent on this enquiry was spun into a vortex down the drain.

Governments pontificate about “the poor” as if they were a separate species or as idle creatures who must be bullied and cajoled into working. Or they talk about social mobility as a means to remove poverty, but we cannot all be, for example, lawyers, bankers or politicians. Here’s a really simple solution to the problem of poverty: pay people enough to live on. Reward them for working. Those who work in low status jobs are providing essential services for the rest of society. This is about recognising and rewarding their contribution and allowing them to live a decent life.  If employers cannot afford to pay a living wage to their employees then state subsidies become a necessity.

But the DWP has recently decided once more that tapering off these in-work benefits more gradually was still not affordable. Surely it’s more cost-effective for the State to support those in low-paid jobs with adequate in-work benefits than it is to leave people stagnating in long term unemployment, with all the costly social problems that that entails.  In-work benefits are cheaper than unemployment benefits. Cut costs. Reduce our dependence on the state. Restore our freedom to go to work. Enable employers to take on more staff. These DWP regulations are unnecessary and illiberal. Change them. Spread the burden of Council Tax fairly so people can go out and earn their living.

Why is this idea important?

 

The idea that I am proposing is that the Government should take the advice of the 2006-07 Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Committee Report and review Council Tax benefits and the tapering off of all in-work benefits. The research has been done. The Report has been published. It’s available on-line on www.parliament.uk. Look at it again and give us back our freedom to go to work.

Millions of people in this country literally cannot afford to go to work because the DWP sets Council Tax benefits (or rebates) at such a low level. Many of the people on low incomes will not benefit at all from the recently announced raising of their income tax threshold because whatever they are given with one hand will be taken away by the other in reduced council tax benefit, (and, if applicable, reduced housing benefit too.) Their poverty will be perpetuated. Yet a Parliamentary Committee investigated CTX benefits and urged the Government to review these DWP rules as a matter of urgency three years ago.

In May 2007 a cross-party Select Committee on Communities and Local Government, chaired by Dr Phyllis Starkey, launched an enquiry into CTX benefit. This followed the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government. Expert evidence and advice was given by several organisations, including the New Policy Institute, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, and London Councils.

The Committee published its Report in August 2007. Paragraph 3 of its conclusions and recommendations finds that: “The council benefit taper, and its interaction with other parts of the tax and benefit system, can act as a disincentive to work. We recommend that the Government address this issue with some urgency and recognise the detrimental effects of the council tax benefit taper in its work on welfare reform.”

This recommendation was cross-referenced to Para. 17 of their Report which stated: “Sir Michael pointed out in his report on local government that the issue of work incentives is much wider than that of council tax reform. We Agree. Any reform is best considered in the context of wider welfare reform policy, but this should not be an excuse for inaction. As the Institute of Revenues Ratings and Valuations argued, a Government review of the council tax benefit taper is long overdue but the issue has been largely ignored by Government for some 20 years.”

And how does this translate into the reality of people’s lives? It means that benefits are tapered off so steeply that the amount people gain when taking on a minimum wage or part time job is so little that it doesn’t even cover the cost of transport to work. They are even worse off than living on benefits and cannot improve their lives by working. DWP regulations on Council Tax rebates prevent people from earning their living, and create difficulties for potential employers trying to take on new staff. It also prevents many people who, for various reasons such as poor health or new parenthood, can only work part time, from taking on a job, because they become liable for Council Tax before they even start paying income tax! So they have to remain on benefits even though, with a fairer CTX rebate system, they could work and be less of a burden on the state.

The Government Response to the Parliamentary Committee’s Report was published on 15 October 2007. The DWP dismissed the Report’s recommendation on the grounds that it was not affordable and that the only route for the poor to improve their lot was through the labour market. Yet the report had gone into great detail about how the poor were unable to improve their lot through the labour market because of the obstacles placed in their way by the DWP! This circularity of thought resulted in no progress in welfare reform and public money spent on this enquiry was spun into a vortex down the drain.

Governments pontificate about “the poor” as if they were a separate species or as idle creatures who must be bullied and cajoled into working. Or they talk about social mobility as a means to remove poverty, but we cannot all be, for example, lawyers, bankers or politicians. Here’s a really simple solution to the problem of poverty: pay people enough to live on. Reward them for working. Those who work in low status jobs are providing essential services for the rest of society. This is about recognising and rewarding their contribution and allowing them to live a decent life.  If employers cannot afford to pay a living wage to their employees then state subsidies become a necessity.

But the DWP has recently decided once more that tapering off these in-work benefits more gradually was still not affordable. Surely it’s more cost-effective for the State to support those in low-paid jobs with adequate in-work benefits than it is to leave people stagnating in long term unemployment, with all the costly social problems that that entails.  In-work benefits are cheaper than unemployment benefits. Cut costs. Reduce our dependence on the state. Restore our freedom to go to work. Enable employers to take on more staff. These DWP regulations are unnecessary and illiberal. Change them. Spread the burden of Council Tax fairly so people can go out and earn their living.

Fair council tax for key workers living away from home

I would like the government to truly support key workers who, through necessity, have to live away from home during the working week.  I would suggest a pro-rata system where eg. I pay 5/7 of the council tax to my working week council and the other 2/7 to my weekend council. 

Why is this idea important?

I would like the government to truly support key workers who, through necessity, have to live away from home during the working week.  I would suggest a pro-rata system where eg. I pay 5/7 of the council tax to my working week council and the other 2/7 to my weekend council. 

council tax- automatic summons

Stop the policy of automatic summons for those who get a month or two behind with council tax payments. Most of us are doing our best to pay under difficult financial circumstances, yet we are treated like criminals.Councils can see from their records those who are trying to pay and those who are persistant non-payers. Court costs just make a difficult problem worse. My council tells me that they have to issue a summons as it a government directive. Council Tax is collected in advance, so payment shouldn't be deemed in arrears until that collection year is up.

  It would be fairer to abolish council tax( which is really a property tax) and just tax everyone individually.

Why is this idea important?

Stop the policy of automatic summons for those who get a month or two behind with council tax payments. Most of us are doing our best to pay under difficult financial circumstances, yet we are treated like criminals.Councils can see from their records those who are trying to pay and those who are persistant non-payers. Court costs just make a difficult problem worse. My council tells me that they have to issue a summons as it a government directive. Council Tax is collected in advance, so payment shouldn't be deemed in arrears until that collection year is up.

  It would be fairer to abolish council tax( which is really a property tax) and just tax everyone individually.

Excessive salaries and the bonus culture

 

I made these suggestions to Eric Pickles and was disappointed at the usual letter you get from government when you write them with suggestions or comments. It dids no more than restating everything we already know about existing legislation and what the Coalition intends to do about it. No mention of my ideas or what they thought of them. Your votes will indicate whether there is a collective will along the lines of my suggestions:

My suggestions to cut back excessive salaries:  

1. Perhaps an upper limit by law for the various levels within councils and statutory partnerships would be a good measure.

2. Unravel Labour madness on bonuses. I cannot see why any council leader warrants pay in excess of £150,000.

3. Limits required for staff in local authorities as well as councils.

4. How about a law for private as well as public positions making it a requirement to qualify for a bonus only according to strict, relevant, formally documented and approved criteria within government guidelines?

(a) A requirement for written evidence with two or more authorised signatures to fully document the justification for the bonus payment when it is paid.

(b) The criteria should not only include positive criteria, but partly and wholly disqualifying negative ones. Had such existed, those responsible for the fiascos at polling stations could not have legally got anything extra.

5. How about going one step further and establishing deductions from basic salary if certain fundamental criteria are not met? In other words a statutory requirement for penalties.

 

Why is this idea important?

 

I made these suggestions to Eric Pickles and was disappointed at the usual letter you get from government when you write them with suggestions or comments. It dids no more than restating everything we already know about existing legislation and what the Coalition intends to do about it. No mention of my ideas or what they thought of them. Your votes will indicate whether there is a collective will along the lines of my suggestions:

My suggestions to cut back excessive salaries:  

1. Perhaps an upper limit by law for the various levels within councils and statutory partnerships would be a good measure.

2. Unravel Labour madness on bonuses. I cannot see why any council leader warrants pay in excess of £150,000.

3. Limits required for staff in local authorities as well as councils.

4. How about a law for private as well as public positions making it a requirement to qualify for a bonus only according to strict, relevant, formally documented and approved criteria within government guidelines?

(a) A requirement for written evidence with two or more authorised signatures to fully document the justification for the bonus payment when it is paid.

(b) The criteria should not only include positive criteria, but partly and wholly disqualifying negative ones. Had such existed, those responsible for the fiascos at polling stations could not have legally got anything extra.

5. How about going one step further and establishing deductions from basic salary if certain fundamental criteria are not met? In other words a statutory requirement for penalties.

 

Make Council Tax de-ductable against Income Tax

Presently, Council Tax payments are not de-ductable against Income tax .

So the tax payer is paying a direct taxation,-  twice, – on a portion of thier income. 

– Council Tax invoices are issued at the start of a tax year – for the year ahead – Income tax calculations (for the same year) make no allowance for these direct tax payments already made – Even though issued from two seperate arms of the state, both taxes are direct & the person has no option but to pay.

Why is this idea important?

Presently, Council Tax payments are not de-ductable against Income tax .

So the tax payer is paying a direct taxation,-  twice, – on a portion of thier income. 

– Council Tax invoices are issued at the start of a tax year – for the year ahead – Income tax calculations (for the same year) make no allowance for these direct tax payments already made – Even though issued from two seperate arms of the state, both taxes are direct & the person has no option but to pay.

Cancel Council Tax

Have local taxation linked to, and collected by Inland Revenue so that it's based on income and not property value. This would mean that it is calculated and administered centrally, so that over 200 local authority council tax departments will be not needed= big savings. Local authorities will be held to account by central government who will have more incentive to pressurise expenditure downwards.

Why is this idea important?

Have local taxation linked to, and collected by Inland Revenue so that it's based on income and not property value. This would mean that it is calculated and administered centrally, so that over 200 local authority council tax departments will be not needed= big savings. Local authorities will be held to account by central government who will have more incentive to pressurise expenditure downwards.

Refuse Collections

Currently our council collects our food waste every week. The container is very large.

Why is it necessary to collect every week when we usually have 2 small bags inside the container.   I know the Mail has had campaigns to collect this weekly but is totally unnecessary especially if users used bags instead of just putting food into a bin.   In fact at a rough calculation we could probably last for 6 months before the bin was filled but larger families could reduce this figure.   There is no smell because of the bags.

No survey has ever been done but maybe heavy users should be charged extra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Currently our council collects our food waste every week. The container is very large.

Why is it necessary to collect every week when we usually have 2 small bags inside the container.   I know the Mail has had campaigns to collect this weekly but is totally unnecessary especially if users used bags instead of just putting food into a bin.   In fact at a rough calculation we could probably last for 6 months before the bin was filled but larger families could reduce this figure.   There is no smell because of the bags.

No survey has ever been done but maybe heavy users should be charged extra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stamp Duty & Council Tax an Unfair Assumption of Wealth

Both Stamp Duty & Council Tax assume someones wealth according to their home.

This isn't a true reflection. Wealth should be measured by earnings & taxes raised against earnings.

If two people earn the same but one spends his money on holidays & drink the other on improving his home. The home builder is taxed more on his Council Tax. Not fair.

If they were both to move it is reasonable to assume that they will move to similar standard properties they left. The home builder will be taxed more on Stamp Duty. Not fair.

A household with 5 earners will pay the property based Council Tax bill between them = 20% each. A single person in a similar property will be hit with 75% of the bill, almost four times as much. Not fair.

In these days of uncertainty & the need for people to move where work is available the average working man can be forced to move several times in his career. Paying Stamp Duty at every move. Not fair.

The super rich rarely have to move for work so wont be caught with the same multiple Stamp Duty bills.

Personally I would rather see taxation on earnings & on VAT, a reflection of my ability to pay.

If you earn it you will someday spend it so you will pay VAT.

Centrally collected income tax & VAT would be simply transfered to local authorities from central government, payment based on each head of population on the voting register. Replacing Council Tax.

The whole Council Tax & Stamp Duty gathering infrastructure / cost would be eliminated.

Why is this idea important?

Both Stamp Duty & Council Tax assume someones wealth according to their home.

This isn't a true reflection. Wealth should be measured by earnings & taxes raised against earnings.

If two people earn the same but one spends his money on holidays & drink the other on improving his home. The home builder is taxed more on his Council Tax. Not fair.

If they were both to move it is reasonable to assume that they will move to similar standard properties they left. The home builder will be taxed more on Stamp Duty. Not fair.

A household with 5 earners will pay the property based Council Tax bill between them = 20% each. A single person in a similar property will be hit with 75% of the bill, almost four times as much. Not fair.

In these days of uncertainty & the need for people to move where work is available the average working man can be forced to move several times in his career. Paying Stamp Duty at every move. Not fair.

The super rich rarely have to move for work so wont be caught with the same multiple Stamp Duty bills.

Personally I would rather see taxation on earnings & on VAT, a reflection of my ability to pay.

If you earn it you will someday spend it so you will pay VAT.

Centrally collected income tax & VAT would be simply transfered to local authorities from central government, payment based on each head of population on the voting register. Replacing Council Tax.

The whole Council Tax & Stamp Duty gathering infrastructure / cost would be eliminated.

Remove all council tax exemptions for lazy landlords

Remove all the exemptions to the payment of council tax including those for keeping buildings empty. 

To complement this idea I recommend :-

+ Ensure that the property owner becomes liable for any council tax underpayment by tennants. 

+ Only the successful completion of the planning process can remove the requirement to pay council tax following demolition for redevelopment.

Why is this idea important?

Remove all the exemptions to the payment of council tax including those for keeping buildings empty. 

To complement this idea I recommend :-

+ Ensure that the property owner becomes liable for any council tax underpayment by tennants. 

+ Only the successful completion of the planning process can remove the requirement to pay council tax following demolition for redevelopment.

Council Tax

Disallow all councils from issuing summons against residents for non payment of council tax until at least one full month of non payment is recorded. It is beyond belief that Mole Valley Council in particular, issues a summons in the same month when the account is not in arrears but they feel that because it was not recorded as paid on the 1st of the month – it was considered "late" No reminder issued.

 

This is just a simple ploy to force people to pay by direct debit instead of (in my case) Bacs payment and an unscrupulous method of increasing revenue.

 

Freezing council tax next year will see many councils employing the same underhanded tactics to increase revenues because it costs not a snippet of the surcharge they levy to issue a summons. Payment received does not cancel out the costs (even when the payment has been received before the date of the summons) they are supposed to have incurred.

 

It is the poor and the struggling who suffer from this outrageous policy. It should be outlawed and councils forced to make allowances for the fact that people are often not paid when the council tax is due but have insufficient resource to build a backlog of funds to cover such intransigence.

Why is this idea important?

Disallow all councils from issuing summons against residents for non payment of council tax until at least one full month of non payment is recorded. It is beyond belief that Mole Valley Council in particular, issues a summons in the same month when the account is not in arrears but they feel that because it was not recorded as paid on the 1st of the month – it was considered "late" No reminder issued.

 

This is just a simple ploy to force people to pay by direct debit instead of (in my case) Bacs payment and an unscrupulous method of increasing revenue.

 

Freezing council tax next year will see many councils employing the same underhanded tactics to increase revenues because it costs not a snippet of the surcharge they levy to issue a summons. Payment received does not cancel out the costs (even when the payment has been received before the date of the summons) they are supposed to have incurred.

 

It is the poor and the struggling who suffer from this outrageous policy. It should be outlawed and councils forced to make allowances for the fact that people are often not paid when the council tax is due but have insufficient resource to build a backlog of funds to cover such intransigence.

Reform Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit savings rules


Reform of the unfair savings rules for Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit claims is seriously overdue.

The Tax Credits system is based on actual income from savings. However, Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit have different rules for the treatment of capital, so that the measure of income from capital is notional rather than real. These rules are based on social security law and are not made by local authorities.

Most capital is counted, even that held in tax-free accounts, and the rule can put those who have saved in cash, rather than through a pension fund, at a distinct disadvantage in their pension credit claim.

Although there is a £10,000 capital disregard, income from remaining capital is deemed to be at £1 per week for every £500 of capital, (referred to as ‘assumed income’), and this applies regardless of whether you are single or in a couple (that is, the capital disregard for a couple is £10,000 not £20,000).

This notional interest rate of over 10% on savings gives pensioners an assumed income figure which is very much higher than their real income from the cash deposits, whether-tax free or not, especially during the current period of very low interest rates.

Legislation is badly needed to abolish the "assumed income" rules and align Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit savings rules with the fairer "actual income" rules used by the Tax Credits system.

 

Why is this idea important?


Reform of the unfair savings rules for Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit claims is seriously overdue.

The Tax Credits system is based on actual income from savings. However, Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit have different rules for the treatment of capital, so that the measure of income from capital is notional rather than real. These rules are based on social security law and are not made by local authorities.

Most capital is counted, even that held in tax-free accounts, and the rule can put those who have saved in cash, rather than through a pension fund, at a distinct disadvantage in their pension credit claim.

Although there is a £10,000 capital disregard, income from remaining capital is deemed to be at £1 per week for every £500 of capital, (referred to as ‘assumed income’), and this applies regardless of whether you are single or in a couple (that is, the capital disregard for a couple is £10,000 not £20,000).

This notional interest rate of over 10% on savings gives pensioners an assumed income figure which is very much higher than their real income from the cash deposits, whether-tax free or not, especially during the current period of very low interest rates.

Legislation is badly needed to abolish the "assumed income" rules and align Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit savings rules with the fairer "actual income" rules used by the Tax Credits system.

 

Unoccupied Properties

Why should council tax payers have to pay council tax on unoccupied properties?

I recently renovated my first house (as it was my only way to get onto the property market) which took me 8 months. As I didn't live in the property for the first 8 months I suspected that I would be entitled to 6 months council tax exemption. However after purchasing the property I found out from Calderdale Council that the property had been previously exempt from council tax by the prior occupant for 2 years. Which meant that I couldn't claim council tax exemption for unoccupied properties. I was faced by the prospect of spending time in jail or paying my council tax bill some months ago by my local labour MP.

Surely prior occupants unoccupied properties council tax exemptions shouldn't effect next occupants council tax exemptions?

Why is this idea important?

Why should council tax payers have to pay council tax on unoccupied properties?

I recently renovated my first house (as it was my only way to get onto the property market) which took me 8 months. As I didn't live in the property for the first 8 months I suspected that I would be entitled to 6 months council tax exemption. However after purchasing the property I found out from Calderdale Council that the property had been previously exempt from council tax by the prior occupant for 2 years. Which meant that I couldn't claim council tax exemption for unoccupied properties. I was faced by the prospect of spending time in jail or paying my council tax bill some months ago by my local labour MP.

Surely prior occupants unoccupied properties council tax exemptions shouldn't effect next occupants council tax exemptions?

Abolish local government

I propose that local government be entirely abolished. I expect the cost savings would be huge.

Clearly, local government fulfils some important functions, such as running schools and emptying our bins. It would be perfectly possible to transfer those functions to central government, and no doubt it would be more efficient to do so, because of economies of scale.

Some local government functions could easily be axed. Seriously, how many people would be disadvantaged if your local Diversity and Community Engagement Team (no, I'm not making that up, my council really has one) ceased to exist?

At a stroke, we could abolish the council tax. This is not only expensive to administer, but is widely considered to be unfair (particularly to pensioners). Obviously some of the money would still be needed to fund bin collection, schools etc, but that could be raised by increasing income tax (leaving most people better off as a result, as the costs of doing things centrally would be much less than wasteful local government). Same goes for business rates. 

Defenders of local government will point to the democratic accountability that local government gives us. But in reality, it's a complete sham. Much of what local governments do is dictated by central government anyway. And where local governments have discretion to do things their way, I see no evidence that democracy works in any meaningful sense. If you think local democracy works, then consider this: of the councils that have decided to go for fortnightly bin collections, what proportion of residents in those areas were in favour of that change?

Why is this idea important?

I propose that local government be entirely abolished. I expect the cost savings would be huge.

Clearly, local government fulfils some important functions, such as running schools and emptying our bins. It would be perfectly possible to transfer those functions to central government, and no doubt it would be more efficient to do so, because of economies of scale.

Some local government functions could easily be axed. Seriously, how many people would be disadvantaged if your local Diversity and Community Engagement Team (no, I'm not making that up, my council really has one) ceased to exist?

At a stroke, we could abolish the council tax. This is not only expensive to administer, but is widely considered to be unfair (particularly to pensioners). Obviously some of the money would still be needed to fund bin collection, schools etc, but that could be raised by increasing income tax (leaving most people better off as a result, as the costs of doing things centrally would be much less than wasteful local government). Same goes for business rates. 

Defenders of local government will point to the democratic accountability that local government gives us. But in reality, it's a complete sham. Much of what local governments do is dictated by central government anyway. And where local governments have discretion to do things their way, I see no evidence that democracy works in any meaningful sense. If you think local democracy works, then consider this: of the councils that have decided to go for fortnightly bin collections, what proportion of residents in those areas were in favour of that change?

Amend Council Tax Order 1992 to allow people to live in their own homes without paying two lots of Council Tax

No. 549 Council Tax, England and Wales; Council Tax (Chargeable Dwellings) Order 1992 states (para 3) that “where a single property contains more than one self contained unit…..the property shall be treated as comprising as many dwellings as there are units included in it, and each such unit shall be treated as a dwelling”.    

The effect of this is that, once a house has been modified to be potentially usable as more than one “self contained unit”, it will forever afterwards be taxed as multiple dwellings, even if in practise it is being used as a single home.       

The above clause should be amended to read ““where a single property is being used as more than one self contained unit…..the property shall be treated as comprising as many dwellings as there are units included in it, and each such unit shall be treated as a dwelling”.     

Why is this idea important?

No. 549 Council Tax, England and Wales; Council Tax (Chargeable Dwellings) Order 1992 states (para 3) that “where a single property contains more than one self contained unit…..the property shall be treated as comprising as many dwellings as there are units included in it, and each such unit shall be treated as a dwelling”.    

The effect of this is that, once a house has been modified to be potentially usable as more than one “self contained unit”, it will forever afterwards be taxed as multiple dwellings, even if in practise it is being used as a single home.       

The above clause should be amended to read ““where a single property is being used as more than one self contained unit…..the property shall be treated as comprising as many dwellings as there are units included in it, and each such unit shall be treated as a dwelling”.     

Reform Council tax

Council tax should be revisited and made fairer! Rather than charging per household, a household should be charged per person living in that household (for instance per adult). I get so frustrated, when I see that my husband and I pay as much as our next door neighbours who live in the same house with 6 adults. It is grossly unfair and I feel there is no equality in the system.

Why is this idea important?

Council tax should be revisited and made fairer! Rather than charging per household, a household should be charged per person living in that household (for instance per adult). I get so frustrated, when I see that my husband and I pay as much as our next door neighbours who live in the same house with 6 adults. It is grossly unfair and I feel there is no equality in the system.

Get rid of Council Tax Benefit bureaucracy.

There are thousands of bureaucrats in this country whose jobs include dealing with Council Tax Benefit claims. There is a mountain of excessively complicated regulation covering how these claims are to be dealt with. Vast sums of money and considerable manpower resources are lavished each year on assessing people's claims.

The main task for the bureaucrats is to assess people's incomes to see how much "benefit" they are entitled to. (Council Tax Benefit is not really a benefit anyway – it is just a reduction in the amount of Council Tax you have to pay.)

They don't just make a calculation for each year – they make a calculation for every week! If you are self-employed, the council may even insist upon seeing every receipt for your business, down to the last stamp and the last paperclip! I'm not kidding – this actually happens!

A single claim can sometimes involve literally reams of paper and hundreds of man-hours from both the council and the claimant. And if there is any change in circumstances, the council may insist on repeating the entire process. In many cases, the cost of administering the claim greatly exceeds the amount being claimed.

And yet, nearly all of this bureaucracy is totally unnecessary. The vast majority of people claiming Council Tax Benefit will already have had their incomes assessed for the purpose of claiming tax credits. So why not just use the same figures to assess Council Tax Benefit?

Why is this idea important?

There are thousands of bureaucrats in this country whose jobs include dealing with Council Tax Benefit claims. There is a mountain of excessively complicated regulation covering how these claims are to be dealt with. Vast sums of money and considerable manpower resources are lavished each year on assessing people's claims.

The main task for the bureaucrats is to assess people's incomes to see how much "benefit" they are entitled to. (Council Tax Benefit is not really a benefit anyway – it is just a reduction in the amount of Council Tax you have to pay.)

They don't just make a calculation for each year – they make a calculation for every week! If you are self-employed, the council may even insist upon seeing every receipt for your business, down to the last stamp and the last paperclip! I'm not kidding – this actually happens!

A single claim can sometimes involve literally reams of paper and hundreds of man-hours from both the council and the claimant. And if there is any change in circumstances, the council may insist on repeating the entire process. In many cases, the cost of administering the claim greatly exceeds the amount being claimed.

And yet, nearly all of this bureaucracy is totally unnecessary. The vast majority of people claiming Council Tax Benefit will already have had their incomes assessed for the purpose of claiming tax credits. So why not just use the same figures to assess Council Tax Benefit?

Remove the Council Tax

People pay too many taxes already and not many countries in Europe has "council tax". Now as the VAT will be increased the council tax should be dropped out and people would not mind an increase in VAT.

Why is this idea important?

People pay too many taxes already and not many countries in Europe has "council tax". Now as the VAT will be increased the council tax should be dropped out and people would not mind an increase in VAT.

Increase discount on Council Tax for single people

Local Government Finance Act 1992.  Council tax is based on 2 adults living in a dwelling.

However, the single person's discount is only 25% leaving them to pay a disproportionate share of the 2-adult cost. I believe the discount for a single adult should be 50% of the 2-adult cost.

Why is this idea important?

Local Government Finance Act 1992.  Council tax is based on 2 adults living in a dwelling.

However, the single person's discount is only 25% leaving them to pay a disproportionate share of the 2-adult cost. I believe the discount for a single adult should be 50% of the 2-adult cost.

Abolish Council Tax!!

Council Tax in my view should be abolished, we have a perfectly good central tax collecting system in the Inland revenue. Surely the way forward is to raise income tax by 0.?% and collect at source this money.

The cost of collecting council tax must be nationally huge, each council must employ its own team of staff to administer this tax, then there are another team of Civil servants working on Council Tax Benefit, not to mention the team working on late payers, legal action etc etc.

In a time of sweeping cuts, surely the abolishment of this stupid tax must make sense.

An increase in Income tax, would sort out the means testing arguement!

I am sure it is not too difficult for the Inland revenue to indicate how much an individual local authority would receive based on that authorities residents income tax.

 

Good idea or is it to easy??

Why is this idea important?

Council Tax in my view should be abolished, we have a perfectly good central tax collecting system in the Inland revenue. Surely the way forward is to raise income tax by 0.?% and collect at source this money.

The cost of collecting council tax must be nationally huge, each council must employ its own team of staff to administer this tax, then there are another team of Civil servants working on Council Tax Benefit, not to mention the team working on late payers, legal action etc etc.

In a time of sweeping cuts, surely the abolishment of this stupid tax must make sense.

An increase in Income tax, would sort out the means testing arguement!

I am sure it is not too difficult for the Inland revenue to indicate how much an individual local authority would receive based on that authorities residents income tax.

 

Good idea or is it to easy??

Curb threatening behaviour of local councils collecting rates

This Government is off to a fantastic start and in addition to the austerity measures, this project is excellent. The manifesto promises to tackle the ridiculous war against the motorist and protect other aspects of freedom are exactly the way to go and for once we are seeing some common sense – so well done – it is all hugely encouraging.

Local Council Behaviour

Over the last few years I have noticed my local council have become incredibly agressive in forcing me to pay rates in the format they want (Standing Order is not possible!) and it is very difficult to enter into any dialogue with them without being sent threatening letters, threatening court action and so on. It really has become completely disrespectful to the individual and is like talking to a debt collector/baliff. It's made worse by the intimidating behaviour and complete lack of any flexibility or common sense.

Everyone comes across little problems in life and whilst I understand they are trying to act like a business, they are also there for the people. Of course the money needs to be collected efficiently, but this has now become so extreme with so little margin for difficult or exceptional circumstances, it doesnt feel British, just totalitarian.

In my own example I was away in a foreign country for several weeks and set up my direct debit via online banking whilst abroad (it was the only way) which could only pay 3 days later than the specified monthly date……so here I am in Court and being forced to pay in full with charges…..it hardly makes me inclined to pay, and now that I've risen above the threats and intimidation, I'm perfectly minded to waste valuable judicial time as a matter of principal……and I'm sure I'm not alone in doing this. Surely, we are wasting more money by creating a litigative heaven for the solicitors, than we get back by improving credit control by 3 days…….

We are a decent country trying to do the decent thing, and this sort of thing is just not British. Being aggressive with real people in this  doesnt pay for new hospitals, it just enhances individuals bonus payments I suspect……although I rather suspect the results are not as good as we are led to believe……

Cheers

 

David

Why is this idea important?

This Government is off to a fantastic start and in addition to the austerity measures, this project is excellent. The manifesto promises to tackle the ridiculous war against the motorist and protect other aspects of freedom are exactly the way to go and for once we are seeing some common sense – so well done – it is all hugely encouraging.

Local Council Behaviour

Over the last few years I have noticed my local council have become incredibly agressive in forcing me to pay rates in the format they want (Standing Order is not possible!) and it is very difficult to enter into any dialogue with them without being sent threatening letters, threatening court action and so on. It really has become completely disrespectful to the individual and is like talking to a debt collector/baliff. It's made worse by the intimidating behaviour and complete lack of any flexibility or common sense.

Everyone comes across little problems in life and whilst I understand they are trying to act like a business, they are also there for the people. Of course the money needs to be collected efficiently, but this has now become so extreme with so little margin for difficult or exceptional circumstances, it doesnt feel British, just totalitarian.

In my own example I was away in a foreign country for several weeks and set up my direct debit via online banking whilst abroad (it was the only way) which could only pay 3 days later than the specified monthly date……so here I am in Court and being forced to pay in full with charges…..it hardly makes me inclined to pay, and now that I've risen above the threats and intimidation, I'm perfectly minded to waste valuable judicial time as a matter of principal……and I'm sure I'm not alone in doing this. Surely, we are wasting more money by creating a litigative heaven for the solicitors, than we get back by improving credit control by 3 days…….

We are a decent country trying to do the decent thing, and this sort of thing is just not British. Being aggressive with real people in this  doesnt pay for new hospitals, it just enhances individuals bonus payments I suspect……although I rather suspect the results are not as good as we are led to believe……

Cheers

 

David

Council tax rethink

Council tax should be recalculated, instead of paying for your type of house, how many bedrooms you have and toilets…etc..etc.. you should pay a standard monthly fee which is fair to all people in every type of property.

Every one should pay £80 a month, simple as that.

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Council tax should be recalculated, instead of paying for your type of house, how many bedrooms you have and toilets…etc..etc.. you should pay a standard monthly fee which is fair to all people in every type of property.

Every one should pay £80 a month, simple as that.

 

 

Force the (Voter owned) Banks to pay a higher rate of interest to Local Authorities

Where the Government has previously "baled out" a major Bank/Building Society and as such it is classified as being Publicly owned Dr. Cable should look at enforcing a regime where each of those organisations had to pay a higher rate of interest to Local Authorities who have money on Deposit.  (possibly 2% over base rate on 90 days with a guarantee of low risk investment).

Why is this idea important?

Where the Government has previously "baled out" a major Bank/Building Society and as such it is classified as being Publicly owned Dr. Cable should look at enforcing a regime where each of those organisations had to pay a higher rate of interest to Local Authorities who have money on Deposit.  (possibly 2% over base rate on 90 days with a guarantee of low risk investment).