Councils have 'moral duty' on tax - Eric Pickles

 
Council tax bill Some councils have announced they plan to defy the government's desire for a council tax freeze

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Councillors have a "moral duty" to sign up to the government's council tax freeze, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said.

Some local authorities in England have said they will increase council tax and reject money from central government.

Mr Pickles said council tax rises were a "kick in the teeth for hard-working, decent taxpayers".

Many of the councils planning increases say it is the only way they can protect services in light of government cuts.

Government figures indicate that 142 councils in England have so far promised to freeze bills this year.

Money has been offered both last year and this year to local authorities promising to freeze council tax, although the government cannot force them to do so.

Significant rebellion

Last year's freeze was observed by all councils.

But BBC local government correspondent Mike Sergeant says this year there is a small but significant rebellion under way.

A number of Labour-controlled authorities, including Leicester, Nottingham, Darlington and Stoke-on-Trent, are planning increases of up to 3.5% from April.

Conservative-led Surrey, Chelmsford and Peterborough have also announced plans for a rise in recent weeks.

Last month, Mr Pickles said any local authority in England wanting to raise council tax by more than 3.5% this year must consult the public in a referendum.

Councils seeking to raise bills in tough economic times needed a "direct democratic mandate" to do so, he said.

 

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 175.

    I equate "council tax and services" with food being shoved down our throats, against our will, and then us being thrust with a very expensive bill afterwards, which we are forced to pay under threat of imprisonment and/or theft of our property.

    It is just as immoral as if someone did exactly what I described.

    I want to OPT OUT of council tax and any services provided to me. I want freedom!

  • rate this
    -9

    Comment number 174.

    The unfairest tax of all. It should be related to income and every worker should pay it. The poll tax was much fairer but its opponents won the war to the detriment of many. My local authority have announced a rise, which I think is unacceptable.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 173.

    I feel sorry for council for not understanding today's call and especially govt. point of view which will save money of the decent tax payers.

    Frankly now because there is unemployment rising, I think govt should come clear to the councils and I would say "Public sector workers".

    Take it or leave it there are many in lines to take up your job, United we wins Divided we falls".

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 172.

    "...Councils have 'moral duty' on tax - Eric Pickles..."

    ===

    I think, given NHS strictures, everyone has a moral duty to try not to weigh twice as much as the average healthy person.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 171.

    The majority of people only pay CT because they think no doing so makes them a criminal.

    This is far from the truth.

    Council tax evasion is a civil matter, and furthermore, has been defeated in the courts using business laws (all councils are registered at companies house as for-profit organisations, and so subject to business law. This info is freely available) Never on here though, funnily

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 170.

    Councils and 'moral duty', there must be an oxymoron there!
    How dare this man talk about morals after some of the barm-pot ideas he has come up with as Communities Sec'. And, why did he pitch in the figure of 3.5%? sound like a political agenda there.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 169.

    Perhaps Tig you should have a "moral duty" to look after your own mother and not leave it to the state!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 168.

    I work for one of the CC that are putting tax up and after looking at the facts i think its the correct move as we will loose out in years to come if we take the grant. at the same time i feel all coucils could do a lot more to manage funds and stop wasting money on stupid PR stunts/schemes. I bought my first house last year and i worked hard to get it, i just wish my tax didnt go to lazy people!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 167.

    Council tax isn't the best system for collecting tax but the point of freezing it is (as always) to keep more money in the pockets of the wealthier so there is less to go round for those who really need it. Central Government wants to keep council tax low so as to exert more central control - the vast majority of council funding comes from central Government.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 166.

    The craphole area I live in charges me £120 a month in council tax. And it's an apartment in a tower block. They don't come to collect the trash on a regular basis, the building and roads are in serious disrepair, and I struggle to see why Hemel Hempstead is considered "near London" enough to justify a rise in the council tax. The whole think stinks of bull poopie to me.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 165.

    With all the charisma of a dodgy double-glazing salesman anything that pops from Mr Pickles head into his mouth should be subject to extreme due diligence by the listener.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 164.

    42. Tim  2 HOURS AGO

    Or perhaps all the savings of laying people off are being eaten up by unemployment/housing benefits etc.

    Cut, cut, cut, its not working

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 163.

    The films last man standing and a fist full of dollars show two gangs running a town, I see the coalition and Labour the same way. The problem where I live is there is only one gang so the one can not be played off against the other so we all end up poorer

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 162.

    I think all councils should go on the basis of Must Should Could Wont. I live in one LA Band B, and I am lucky to see any services. My parents in a diff LA 2 mile away Band D same amount CT but get the grass verge opposite them cut fortnightlyThere should be an overview on the basis of Must Should Could across the UK

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 161.

    In our rural area we have some of the worst roads for potholes in the whole country and that is according to the AA - as if we didn't already know! My Council Tax and Water rates come to just over £2,700 p.a. and I feel massively overcharged for what I get in the way of services - most of which are sub-contracted. But we do have nice polite refuse collectors.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 160.

    do not forget that its the councils who pay housing benefit and council tax exclusion to the unwashed/unemployable masses on benefit

    if the council could use its allocated money rather than supporting wastrels all would be fine
    !

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 159.

    Ah now I understand. If it is a moral duty not to do it then it is obvious Surrey would do it. True capitalism has no place for morality.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 158.

    General consensus seems to be that no-one approves of council tax and agree that its certainly too much.

    So, I wonder why, if EVERYONE has the same view, we don't stand together. Imagine if 10million households just stopped paying, only 10,000 even. That would rock the boat, and council tax evasion is a civil matter, not criminal. Ask any council tax evader if they've ever had police at the door

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 157.

    How about MAKING them freeze the tax.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 156.

    Do any of you comment-ers have any idea how Councils are funded?

    Typically, no more that 12% comes from Council Tax and 70% or more comes from government grants, which are being reduced faster than any other department of state. CT is once of the few areas of flexibility left to retain services, and this 'grant' is just a way for the government to permanently reduce the local tax base.

 

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