Keeping their hands off our cash

One of the so called great claims made by socialists in the UK was that somehow or other they smashed the Thatcher Poll tax, though in the end it was a failure of nerve by cabinet ministers, not anything to do with rioting. Politicians tend to become very focussed on their political survival when an unpopular measure is introduced. Yet looking back now, I suspect that the poll tax would have worked out ok, after all what could be farer than everyone paying their way, a rich person after all does not noticeably produce more rubbish than a poor one and a poll tax coupled with say a land value tax would have been a pretty fair way to pay for local and national government. Oh I’m sure that there are a few out there who would scream that a Duke or millionaire should pay more towards society, though those are merely the politics of envy and part of the weird soak the rich mentality of some people in the UK, the same people who wonder why anyone who does get rich immediately moves out of the UK the minute governments try to get their hands on their cash.

So what we ended up was a council tax based on the value of a home, not the number of people using the resources of the home and as a sop to single people they got a 25% discount on the tax. But now with a squeeze on local government spending and rather than collect unpaid bills (£500 million in London alone) curb the wages of their chief executives, get rid of unnecessary services such as translation services, diversity co-ordinators and various other bits of useless flotsam taken up by councils who really ought to just concentrate on emptying the bins and filling in pot holes, Labour councils have decided it’s a good idea to go after single people.

Express.

WIDOWS and divorcees are being targeted for a huge rise in their council tax bills.
Labour-run councils want the eight million people living alone to pay the same rate as couples or households with several working adults.
Their plan to scrap the 25 per cent single person discount would push up bills by nearly £360 a year on the average Band D home. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles last night condemned the move.
He said the unfair “widows tax” would affect millions of pensioners living alone after the death of their spouse. Single parents would also be hit.
“There is clearly a well-orchestrated campaign being run by the Labour Party to target the elderly, single mothers and the most vulnerable,” Mr Pickles said.
“They want to punish people who have worked hard all their lives and paid their taxes simply because they live on their own. There is a gross sense of injustice at raising taxes that could force people out of their homes. This is a widows tax and shows how out of touch Labour is.”
The demand by Labour-run town halls to scrap the discount, which has been in place since council tax was introduced in 1993, emerged from a Government consultation on how to save 10 per cent of the cost of council tax benefit.
In scores of submissions from Labour councils, town hall chiefs argued that working single people or pensioners not on benefits could afford to pay the full council tax bill to cushion a £500million cutback on benefit claimants.

Oh I’m sure that there are a lot of fairly well off single people out the including widows and divorcée’s  who could afford to pay the full whack, but why should a single person who is probably using council services far less than a family of four have to contribute exactly the same amount?

There has to be an easier way for everyone to contribute to the running of the local services they need and at the moment it’s plainly obvious that we’re paying out too much for services we don’t actually want or that few actually need. Local referenda on the accounts of local government might be a good idea, though no doubt a few might start complaining about the cost of such activities too. Though making local government a lot more accountable to the people who have to live with their occasional grandiose schemes seems to be a path we should be following up.

The question is though, we know that the system is a mess, we know it needs reform, we know that councils often spend rates on things that suit their political sensitivities, so how do we take control back off all this?

9 comments for “Keeping their hands off our cash

  1. John
    January 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    A word to the Labour Councils mentioned above.

    According to the 2001 Census, 31% of all people over the age of 16 live on thier own.

    That’s an awful lot of voters you’re about to upset. But then who would credit Labour Councils with much intelligence?

  2. Paul
    January 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I’m afraid I disagree with John, he used the word ‘much’ when I feel ‘any’ would have been more accurate.

  3. Edward.
    January 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    “so how do we take control back off all this?”

    Councils are closed shops, to break their political stranglehold is to get as many independent coucillors elected asap, then have them install a budget ‘chop’ and proper and published accounting, so that we all know where the money goes.
    It is a battle, their fiefdoms of councils are like the Mafia, where strong familial and nepotism and cronyism is the order of business.
    One thing I would like to get my hands on is the figures [and they must exist somewhere] on how many immigrants have been ‘resettled’ and been granted ‘social housing’ in my area since a Labour government ordered the Socialist Republics in the North of England to ‘take their share of the burden’ ie, to move ’em on from London – figures like that are treated like state secrets, because they are political dynamite. In a small town like this which I’ve known on and off for more years than I care to remember the transformation from white working class [in the span of years between 05-12] to downtown Karachi/Tower Hamlets is out of all proportion. Not forgetting, the numerous Outlandish Africans – from all corners of the Dark continent – not just tourists from ‘our lot’ and of course Eastern Europeans. This is ethnic cleansing on a massive scale going on right before my eyes.
    I find it hard to believe what I am able to observe, needless to say the low level crime rates have rocketed up and the reasonably safe streets that were, are long gone now filled with Bangladeshi/Pakistani kids who resent western faces in ‘their manor’ – I will not go out at night in my locale anymore.
    Yes, diversity and multicultural totalitarianism here now at work and very much all down to Labour Socialist republic or council and councillors.

  4. Ed P
    January 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I’ve found councils are very scared of FOI requests. Eg, a pointless leaflet informing 20,000 local households that Christmas 2010 refuse collections “would be on the same days as normal” pissed me off so much that I found out it cost £6000 to print them all. Interestingly they didn’t produce one for Xmas 2011, even though the collection days were actually varied.
    So keep those FOIs coming and tie them up with their own nonsense!

  5. Mudplugger
    January 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Perhaps the biggest mistake Thatcher ever made was to pilot the Poll Tax in Scotland – pretty obvious what reaction it would get there, so I was astonished she ran it there first.

    It should have been first piloted in the shires, proved and improved, then migrated into the cities over a period of, say, 10 years, thus diluting immediate impact and defusing opposition.
    Then we would have had a form of local revenue raising which was fairer and, its master stroke, one where everyone at least paid something, so they had an ‘investment’ in their local services.
    Then eventually linking it to the Electoral Register, a proper Poll Tax, would have really sealed the deal – ‘no representation without taxation’.

    And excellent idea, abysmally implemented – bit like the NHS really.

    • wiggiatlarge
      January 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Your so right on this ,there was nothing wrong with the principle of the Poll Tax ,it was its implimentation that let it down ,what we had before were skyrocketing rates ,and what have had in recent years the same with Council tax,i can remember when asked the retired auditor of Suffolk CC said only about 38% of households in the county paid Council tax ,what are those figures now ?
      That the above should even be considered shows the level to which politics has sunk just in order to secure votes.

  6. ivan
    January 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    The cap on benefits should be extended to all councils. Chief executives should be caped at 60,000, diversity coordinators at 10,000 with the remainder rising to no more than 45,000. The councillors themselves should get no remuneration of any sort at all and if they manage to ‘acquire’ any they should be banned from any political position for life.

    Either that or there should be a cap on the total salary of a council for the life of the council which must supply all the basic services. Any increase in that total should be voted for in the council elections – just see if they can up that in the elections.

  7. Dave G
    January 30, 2012 at 12:09 am

    The first step should be to abolish the pension payment part of the Council Tax that we all ‘contribute’ to. If the council and their workers want a pension they can damned well pay for it themselves – like the rest of us do.

  8. February 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    … a rich person after all does not noticeably produce more rubbish than a poor one.

    Point of order: Tony Blair is very, very rich and produced absolute loads of it. 😉

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