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
    -2

    Comment number 195.

    The councillors in our area have never worked in the private sector they are career public sector workers / councillors.They vote for what is good for them and a lot of the voters in the area do not pay their own council tax as they are on benefits so they will never vote them out. I am treated as a cash cow as I do go to work!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 194.

    Those who still bang on about the poll tax being fair may yet have their chance to enjoy this, with the proposed one on infimity being smuggled in as I write.

    That is, where everyone pays the first £30,000-£70,000 towards their care if they are able, rather than the 10% inheritance tax (rich pay more) proposed by the last government.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 193.

    Perhaps sacking senior council staff for their 'mistakes' rather than letting them retire early on a full pension and lump sum would help reduce council tax.

    And offering free english lessons for 6 months to everyone in the area so that they do'nt have to bother employing 200 langauge translators

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 192.

    183.
    RATIONAL MAN
    Councils should cut back on politically correct schemes and minority groups such as the environment, recycling, support for voluntary groups, housing benefit, play centres for children etc and concentrate on essential services such as support for the elderly & vulnerable, schools, roads & street lighting, refuse collection, police and fire brigade.
    ---
    ABSOLUTELY
    well said

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 191.

    The admission fees for council things don't meet full funding costs. Payments on need to people has been shunted to council by the government so it isn't gov responsibility. If we only pay for what we use, those at the bottom need a bigger minimum wage.
    Someone give me a % for those on benefits who would work if a job was available, other than the Tabloid Press's guesses.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 190.

    180. Anglerfish.

    Remember the old lady a few years back who was jailed. The headlines saying for council tax evasion. They caught her on a technicality to do with meals-on-wheels.

    Tell me an other cases of evasion where people have been jailed. You NEVER hear of it, 'cos it doesn't happen.

    You read the news, you believe the news, most people have wised up.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 189.

    Your government in Westminister HAS a moral obligation to protect the NHS and (as part of this) provide care to the elderly.
    If Scotland can prioritise their budget to do it then so can Westminister.
    They don't get more money - they just allocate it differently !

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 188.

    Councils..Councillors; Unions,..Tax payers.....A heady mix...But you will not find Morals (or Ethics) anywhere in this mix!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 187.

    can someone tell me why i am paying for councillors pensions. they are not employees they volunter and get elected so they can be voted off.it is typical of rip off britain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 186.

    171 by Hempers - if you got your facts right you might be credible?

    non payment is a criminal offence

    but never let facts get in the way?

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 185.

    176. B357  JUST NOW I am sick of Councils using the cuts to hide behind slashing frontline services so they can maintain salaries, pensions, overtly generous severance terms and benefits.
    Keyword there is 'maintain', unions used to get ripped for being greedy, they now get ripped for 'maintaining' peoples conditions, what was sir freddies pay off again?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 184.

    #176 Ummm, isn’t that the purpose of Unions – to help their members? Like I thought the govt was interested in helping the nation’s people. Got that one badly wrong. They’re only interested in accumulating money at any cost.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 183.

    Councils should cut back on politically correct schemes and minority groups such as the environment, recycling, support for voluntary groups, housing benefit, play centres for children etc and concentrate on essential services such as support for the elderly & vulnerable, schools, roads & street lighting, refuse collection, police and fire brigade.

    Then they might work within their budgets.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 182.

    Councils have had a moral duty to do a lot of things over the years but it has never seemingly bothered them.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 181.

    I watched a programme on TV recently about the Westminster Council and the great care which is given to maintaining their pavements and roads, etc.,etc. I just wish that we could have a bit of this care shown for our rural roads and pavements but the excuse is ALWAYS "Lack of Funds"! How's that for FAIRNESS?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 180.

    171. Cristobal Hempers

    ''Council tax evasion is a civil matter .... and so subject to business law. This info is freely available. Never on here though, funnily'

    That's because you're wrong. Council tax non-payers are prosecuted, some have been jailed. I guess if the law was on their side, as you claim, solicitors might have spotted it by now.

  • rate this
    +14

    Comment number 179.

    My council tax is 11% of my take home pay, it has become an absolute struggle to pay it. The inflation busting increases imposed by councils over the Labour years has taken this tax to unsustainable levels. Otherwise ordinary honest hard working people are now being made criminals for failing to keep up their payments, with the councils quick to send in the bailiffs to recover debts.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 178.

    The conservative dominated coalition has to balance the books somehow. 20% is available of the money paid to disabled people. Freezing council tax means councils can reduce what the less well off get. Getting companies to pay their tax, or closing all the off shore tax haven we control might upset the people who back the tories. Or am I being cynical?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 177.

    160 Locust. Local councils administer housing and council tax benefit, that is then given to them form central govt, interestingly enough is they over pay, The repayments dont go back to central govt

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 176.

    I am sick of Councils using the cuts to hide behind slashing frontline services so they can maintain salaries, pensions, overtly generous severance terms and benefits.

    Unions are only interested in one thing - their members!

 

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