Fringe Box



Letter: Impact of Council Tax Increases Should Be Reviewed

From Bernard Parke

hon alderman and former Mayor of Guildford

By the time that this letter is published readers will have received their council tax bill for the current year.

As night follows day, this regressive tax increases year by year without any consideration for the taxpayers’ ability to pay. In many cases, the tax accounts for half the amount paid in state pension which is also taxed at source.

The question must now be asked how much longer will this be allowed to go on? It was been reported, even before this recent increase, that this tax has increased by 50% in the last two decades.

Apart from those on fixed incomes what chance have those of in rented accommodation, desperately saving to buy a home of their own?

Central government must now revisit this process of financing local government with a system based on a broader central tax base.

We have seen here in Guildford that local taxation is based on a diminishing number of properties as more and more are exempt from paying any contribution at all towards paying for local services.

Indeed the problem is not helped by local authorities embarking on vanity projects. Surely enough is enough!

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6 Responses to Letter: Impact of Council Tax Increases Should Be Reviewed

  1. John Perkins Reply

    March 13, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    In Ripley, the parish council have increased their precept by 15%, largely in order to borrow £500,000 to “kickstart the new Village Hall project”. This despite the fact that in 2015 more than half of the respondents disagreed with a similar proposal.

  2. Mike Nicholson Reply

    March 13, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Well said Mr Parke. As for vanity projects, they are a curse on taxpayers HS2 and Ripley being but two examples.

  3. Peta Malthouse Reply

    March 16, 2018 at 7:47 am

    In Normandy, I see that for the third year running they are asking for £130,000 which is a figure that increased the usual budget of circa £90,000 to cover additional ‘one off’ expenditure. I don’t think they know where the money goes. They just think if they don’t put the charge up that it is ok.

    • John Perkins Reply

      March 22, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Ripley (smaller than Normandy) got £64,636, close to £8,500 more than last year. The other reason given for the increase was “the need to keep a ‘war chest'”. We can only hope they don’t actually anticipate a war.

  4. Alan Cooper Reply

    March 21, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Bernard Parke still has his finger on the pulse after all of his years involved in Guildford matters.

    Good to learn that someone of his status as an alderman and former mayor thinks that residents are being harshly treated.

    However, I am not sure what a review would bring forth in the way of benefits to residents.

    I am sure he will respond and enlighten us all in due course.

  5. Bernard Parke Reply

    March 22, 2018 at 7:24 am

    The present system is out of date and set on a tax base which is shrinking due to the increasing number of properties on which no council tax is paid at all although these residents enjoy local services.

    The number of these council tax free properties has increased over the years putting a greater financial burden on those paying for the services provided.

    The Government continues to cut the rate support grant which is set on a much broader tax base.

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