Monday, October 10, 2005

Right somebody mentioned council taxes. Thank you because I am getting a bit tired of talking about gypsy travellers. I was at the debate on council taxes which actually took place on Tuesday, as a result I missed most of the Conservative Party Conference which was a shame because this year was more interesting than usual.

The Conservative position on Council tax revaluation is that we would ideally support the reversal of re-banding which, as it has not gone ahead in England would be the fairest solution. We have been independently advised that this could raise some legal problems so until that has been clarified we will settle for a freeze at the levels being charged this year.

This would mean that nobody would go up by more than one band.


Blogger Mark said...

Don't you think a tax based on property value is a bit archaic, in the same vain as the “window tax” centuries ago? How can this system (devised by the last Conservative government and championed by the current Labour government) be fair to anyone?

To the elderly, who work all their lives to build a comfortable home, it is a financial burden at a time in their life they can ill afford.

To the young, struggling to set up home in an already expensive housing market, it is a hurdle to independence.

It is a regressive tax, hitting those who can ill afford it the most, with the recent rebranding exercise placing an increasing burden on the ordinary taxpayer.

Wouldn’t a system of local income tax, or similar scheme, be a fairer way of funding local government? It could be easily incorporated into the PAYE system and cut the vast administration costs of the current system. Also, it would be a guaranteed way of near 100% payment, on time an in full.

By the way…the best way of reducing the tax burden further would be to abolish one unnecessary level of bureaucracy … the National Assembly !!

8:58 AM  
Blogger David Davies AM said...

Mark I have dealt with this in a lot of detail in previous blogs.

Suffice to say for now that it is not the tax but the level it is being charged at which has caused the anger. Council tax was simply not an issue in 1999 when I was first elected to the Assembly.

I have some sympathy with your last point!

2:08 PM  
Blogger Hammers - back where we belong said...

So does this mean you want to go further than removing health service functions? You definitely want abolition of the Assembly?

If so what do you think of David Davis' sympathetic view of Assembly powers? He seemed very keen on the devolution project when he met Glyn Davies. Maybe he has given you assurances to the contrary.

5:10 AM  
Blogger Hammers - back where we belong said...

Come on David, if you are backing your namesake surely where he and you stand on devolution is pretty important.

3:16 AM  
Blogger Lee63 said...

Seems to me that Council tax is unpopular because no-one understands it - it's aims are now so muddled it appears as just another general tax.

We should pay the local authority for local services - eg refuse collection.

We should pay a national income tax for a service that has to meet a national standard for the benefit of the whole country such as Education, and this should be distributed back to LEAs acountable to National Standards and local residents. Fire and police probably the same.

The rest of the Council tax, based on property value, appears to be a wealth tax. There's a whole different blog. If so, it should apply to all assets, should allow for mortgage loans, etc. - a much bigger debate.

Keep the Council tax linked to Council services and it will be a lot more popular. What people hate is Labour's politics of envy -trying to tax "the rich" more because they live in big houses.

My council tax rises so far appear to be due to employee costs, particularly pensions, and I fail to see why I should pay a public servant to retire at 60 (if they don't take early retirement through a soft health option) when I will have to work til 70 to get a decent pension. Labour cop out again. But that's a different blog as well.

2:02 AM  

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