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Council tax

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Tuesday 13 March 2007 4.09pm
As a fifties male living on my own I think the 'singlist' argument is a non-starter, every one makes use of different facilities at different times.

Quoting unsubstantiated 'thoughts' from the radio in the way you did just makes them seem as though they're either your own or you agree with them so it's not really surprising when someone gets mildly offended. Live & let live eh?
Tuesday 13 March 2007 6.55pm
Up until my post the arguement was being made that those who lived in multiple occupation put more of a demand on ocuncil resources than those in single occpancy. Being the type of person who will happily argue the toss in a friendly discussion, whether or not I agree with it, I thought I would put the arguement for the other side. Now if that affends someone Im very sorry but I did state in my second post that they were not necesserialy my views but I also felt I should defend my earlier arguement. Ok the radio 4 programme may have the facts wrong.But they presented as "fact" that per head of population you use more water, electricity/fuel and consumer goods and produce more rubbish if you live in a single household than you do if you live in a larger household. Although there will always be the odd exception to the rule I am sure that there is a good chance that single households have fuel bills more than a quarter of mine and that many more will put out more rubbish than a quarter of the amount of rubbish I do afterall if you buy one apple an place it in a plastic bag you will have the same amount of packaging as a bag with four apple in. (mind you excess packaging thats is a whole other story) But rubbish collection is one of the things that we pay for through council tax.

Of course I am not saying single households are wrong I have friends and family that live in single households some through choice others not.
Tuesday 13 March 2007 7.04pm
There are so many exceptions to this rule, it starts to make the "fact" seem rather suspect. The facts, as stated, are largely counter-intuitive - again, a reason to think they might be a tad dodgy!
Tuesday 13 March 2007 7.12pm
thanks KM for the support. perhaps we can live together when it becomes illegal for us to live alone ;)
it is usual for someone to present points of view that they agree with and hence, Jac, why it seemed to me that you were agreeing with them. however, while I still think they're b*llocks, I recognise that you don't necessarily share them. also, I wasn't that offended by them, other than wondering whether you were in league with my Dad in trying to get his daughter to move home ... !!
Wednesday 14 March 2007 9.20am
You're welcome McQueen - funny thing is, where I live, every time couples try to live in the flats they either split up or move out because they are really only suitable for singles (or the obsessed I suppose). Perhaps the block should be knocked down and the site put to better use in the quoted Radio 4 world.

I know I shouldn't say this because it will only set off another bout of bashing but, as a single person, I pay Council Tax for so many 'services' I don't have any need for (and generally don't begrudge it) and then I see my siblings get tax breaks on this that and the other to which I don't have access - cruel world for the singleton between 26 & 60ish isn't it!
Wednesday 14 March 2007 9.33am
or the widowish of 63ish!
Wednesday 14 March 2007 10.15am
Or 66-ish!
Wednesday 14 March 2007 3.55pm
Goodness ladies - I thought from your postings you were bright young things, I'm sure you are at heart :). I randomly picked 60 because of the 'bus pass'. Is that paid for out of council tax? Something to look forward to anyway.
Thursday 15 March 2007 11.51am
The link between Council Tax and schooling is pretty trenuous. Hopefully most kids will go on to repay society for their education by tax and other contributions.

I dont know the figures now, but certainly a few years back Council Tax only contributed about 8% to the Council budget, with Central Gopvernment paying the rest. This is why there can be big variations in Council Tax, especially in places like Westminster where when compated with business rates, the contribution is small. A significant slice of the overall pot is now handed over to the GLA (Ken).

I am not going to be an anorack and look up Council budget percentages, however people "in need" can soak up large slices of the available funding. Demographics, but a high proportion of frail elderly will bump up social services costs. As will housing homeless families in temporary accomodation, or a large number of kids with educational statements. Or a significant number of teenagers who are involved with the Youth Offending Team.

(A second reason for not looking at Local Authority budgets is that Public Sector accounting is a world of its very own, with odd classifications of capital and revenue. However if I have understood the rules properly, redundancy and early retirement payments are treated as capital, which means they do not hit in-year operating budgets and so fail to provide an incentive for redeployment, or proper handling of personnel issues.)

Local Authorities have a problem as central Government appear to be passing more down. So the next time you visit the bar with the 3.00am licence, remember that the resident next door will be paying for the noise team, the clean up and so on.

I am not sure if I have a view on single or mulitiple occupancy other than to point out that the current, seemingly insatiable, demand for new housing is driven in part by the rate of new household creation. Or to take out the jargon. More of us live on our own through choice or otherwise, so we need more homes.
Thursday 15 March 2007 1.41pm
Yes the percentage of council budgets that are paid for by council tax varies around the country. I don't think it's 8% anywhere though! I think the lowest is about a quarter, and in some places it's more than half. Precisely because, as you said, some areas have more needy people and the government tries to even that up.

I quite approve of the split between revenue and capital when budgeting. Don't we all do that in our own lives? Deciding whether to buy a car or a house is a different kind of decision from deciding how much to spend on food that week...

I think treating redundancy as capital makes sense too if the job is genuinely redundant - otherwise it could look more expensive (doing a one year budget) to make the person redundant than to keep paying them to do nothing.
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