You can imagine my absolute delight at opening my council tax bill this morning for the coming year to read I now have to pay more. Yippeee – not . Now don’t get me wrong I am all for paying my way and all that and I understand that the government is trying to sort the finances out so we all have to jolly well pitch in and smile while we empty out our purses but what has annoyed me is how my council have gone about it and the amount they have decided on.
Things all changed this year when the local councils were given the job of setting their own rules for council tax and all told to make a saving as there is 10% less funding for council tax support. ( Note -that’s 10% less funding) Councils had to have a council tax reduction scheme in place by 31 Jan 2013 and to start it in April 2013.
Some council have made no change and absorbed the entire funding cut into their own council budget. Meaning if you were/are entitled to 100% council tax support you still get 100% support.
Some councils have decided to pass on the funding cut to the residents. Meaning if you were/are entitled to 100% council tax support, this year you would have to pay a % of the bill, so may be 5% or 10%.
My council has decided that instead of 100% support I now get 75%. I haven’t earned anymore this year, the bill total hasn’t gone up, I haven’t received any more in benefits BUT I can apparently suddenly afford £210 a year. The thing I really have a problem with, as well as why my council decides on 25% when others decide on 0% – 10%, is the no warning bit. The letter arrives today and as from 2 weeks time I have to pay council tax. No warning, no letter from my council, nothing. And paying your council tax bill is considered an import bill as the consequences of not paying the bill can be high. Instead I had to ring up and ask why they hadn’t sent letters to warn people that they had voted on residents paying 25% where as other councils voted on 10% or to absorb it all. All I had was some council bloke on the phone say ‘well it’s been in the news’.