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

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.

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.       

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.

Revoke laws requiring student airline pilots to pay tax on training expenses

Revoke and laws that require student pilots, already sometimes in debt of upwards of £100,000 to pay tax on their pilot training courses at recognised schools.

The tax was introduced some years ago after people abused the professional-training loophole allowing people to gain a pilots licence for please, but since regulated and approved schools now offer courses which bypass this type of licence, reintroduce the exemption for already over-stretched pilots and their families.

Why is this idea important?

Revoke and laws that require student pilots, already sometimes in debt of upwards of £100,000 to pay tax on their pilot training courses at recognised schools.

The tax was introduced some years ago after people abused the professional-training loophole allowing people to gain a pilots licence for please, but since regulated and approved schools now offer courses which bypass this type of licence, reintroduce the exemption for already over-stretched pilots and their families.

Restore tax break for Pension Companies

The Labour govt removed the tax break that Pension Investment companies got with their uk stock market investments and wrecked the best pension system of any country; this also reduced the volume through the UK stock exchange and so reduced its importance in the world. 

Why is this idea important?

The Labour govt removed the tax break that Pension Investment companies got with their uk stock market investments and wrecked the best pension system of any country; this also reduced the volume through the UK stock exchange and so reduced its importance in the world. 

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.

TV licence fee should be reclassified as a civil offence – not a criminal offence

Please support amendments intended to ensure that the TV licence  fee is recoverable as a civil matter only, following non-payment and failure to respond to a notice issued by OFCOM – not a criminal offence.  This is an unfair and outdated penalty.

The television licence fee is a "despised compulsory impost" and should be scrapped.  The annual charge and the BBC should be funded by other means.

Why is this idea important?

Please support amendments intended to ensure that the TV licence  fee is recoverable as a civil matter only, following non-payment and failure to respond to a notice issued by OFCOM – not a criminal offence.  This is an unfair and outdated penalty.

The television licence fee is a "despised compulsory impost" and should be scrapped.  The annual charge and the BBC should be funded by other means.