Before very long our Council Tax bills will be coming through the letter box, and for many the amount to be paid, along with all other bills, is certain to cause anxiety.
When the Thatcher government tried to introduce the Poll Tax in the past it was obvious that while some would be suited, others would be disadvantaged, and there was such an outcry that the whole scheme was scrubbed.
Today however there are still anomalies within the Council Tax system that leave some people, in comparison to others, equally disadvantaged. While we hear of large numbers of immigrants living in one property, and know that certain homes with more than one income pay only the tax appropriate to their band, which on one hand seems ridiculous and on the other fortuitous, single residents, usually pensioners, are only given a 25 per cent reduction. Compared with homes of multi- adult working occupants, where all may contribute towards tax eases the burden, the surviving member of a family living alone on one wage or pension is not so easy.
A 50 per cent reduction in Council Tax would therefore be a much fairer levy; after all, when a partner has gone, income is obviously reduced by the same amount; as also are the services for which tax is imposed. Considering the differential between the groups involved, there has to be another method of ensuring that those at one end of the spectrum pay their share, while giving some relief to those at the other.
Finally, on the subject of the £26,000 cap on benefits suggested by the Government, one wonders why there are so many who object to such a scheme; as most families who work would be very happy to have an income of £500 a week, a sum which in the North is only a pipe dream; something which many of those in high places have little or no knowledge of. When the welfare of children is the cause of many objections, surely parents should in the first place, have done what most of the older generation did in the past, by limiting their families according to their income. Or is that too much to ask of those who think only of themselves and continue to produce children while failing to support them, and yet seem to go short of very little?
E A Lundy, by email