A Campaign for the Reform of Council Tax
June 10, 2005
We have set up an Independent Inquiry by Sir Michael Lyons to consider the detailed case for changes to the present system of local government funding, including reform of council tax to make it fairer and more sustainable.
The Inquiry will also consider options other than council tax for local authorities to raise supplementary revenue, including local income tax, reform of non-domestic rates and other possible local taxes and charges. The Inquiry is due to report by the end of the year and will make recommendations on any changes that are necessary and how to implement them.
Help with council tax bills is available to people on a low income through Council Tax Benefit (CTB). The Department for Work and Pensions is taking active measures to ensure that people are made aware of CTB and are encouraged to take up their entitlement to what is in effect a council tax rebate.
Alongside CTB for the poorest pensioners, we are helping many more elderly people with their council tax bills. We gave £100 to households with someone 70 or over for 2004/05. In 2005/06 households with someone aged 65 or over will receive £200, unless they are receiving the Pension Credit guarantee. People getting the guarantee element of Pension Credit are already entitled to a 100 per cent rebate on their council tax bills. Households with someone aged 70 or over getting the Pension Credit guarantee will receive £50 to help with living costs.
Our generous grant settlements to local Government, and considered use of our capping powers, have led to an average council tax increase in 2005/06 of 4.1 per cent - the lowest increase in more than a decade - and the second lowest ever.
June 10, 2005
The year on year inflation busting rises in Council Tax causes hardship to the many, but particularly those on low or fixed incomes. With council tax being based on property values, it takes no account of people's ability to pay.
Council Tax can take as much as 30% of the income of a person on a low income and less than 2% of the income of a high earner.
Council tax in its current format should be ABOLISHED and replaced by a system of taxation which reflects the individual's ability to pay.
We feel very strongly that no one should be asked to pay more Council Tax than he or she can fairly afford. This is why we advocate the use of Income Tax and VAT to replace Council Tax. These systems allow an individual's ability to pay to be fully considered. For example:
If you don't pay Income Tax, then you make no contribution to the cost of local authority funding.
The additional VAT payable amounts to 1p per £1.00 spent.
The average earner (approx. £27,000 p.a.) paying the average Council Tax bill of £1,100 would see this cost reduce down to approx. £400
We, the undersigned, and those on the appended pages fully support this.
The A Campaign for the Reform of Council Tax petition to HM Government UK, 10 Downing Street was written by David Every and is in the category Government at GoPetition.