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British Council Tax.

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British Council Tax.

Old 11th Mar 2016, 07:19
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British Council Tax.

Just received a council tax bill which had an adult care levy of 2% whacked onto it. This is neatly described as a precept and here is the blurb that one can access on the matter:


Adult Social Care precept
Subject to the annual approval of the House of Commons, the Secretary of State intends to offer the option of charging this “precept” in relation to each financial year up to and including the financial year 2019-20.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authori es. (“Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)
In relation to the financial year beginning in 2016 the Secretary of State has determined (and the House of Commons has approved) a referendum principle of 4% (comprising 2% for expenditure on adult social care and 2% for other expenditure), for adult social care authorities. These authorities may therefore set council tax up to this percentage in 2016 without holding a referendum.”
The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge a “precept” of up to 2% on its council tax for the financial year beginning in 2016
without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in mee ng expenditure on adult
For more information please visit XYZ


But what this is, in fact, is a 2% mandatory increase in council tax with no public debate or recourse to discussion. Furthermore, it places the financing of the 'social' care of adults onto the shoulders of the local councils and not on government.
Now my 2% only buys a few cans of Special Brew but this is an income tax hike by the back door. It sets a great precedent for another precept and another after that. Pretty soon you'll be paying precepts to clean up dog waste from the pavements when the dog is owned by handicapped people who can't bend down to clean up their own pet's excrement!
The council concerned has confirmed that this preceptual levy is not in fact an option but a compulsion.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 08:09
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You say British, but isn't it just the English? Are the Scots, Welsh or NI councils doing the same?
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 08:12
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Or stand for election as an independent councillor on a tax reduction manifesto at the next local election. Hardly anybody does that. Writing letters or emails gets you nowhere. People just pay up and they get away with it.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 20:34
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What shabby devious conduct!
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 21:07
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Originally Posted by cavortingcheetah View Post
But what this is, in fact, is a 2% mandatory increase in council tax with no public debate or recourse to discussion.
Well, yes, actually, you had a vote in the last general election.


What it is, is central government lifting the cap on council tax very very slightly, but only if the council then spends the money on a ring-fenced purpose dictated by central government. How long ago was it that a Cameron government "abolished all ring fences" in the interests of "localism"? - that didn't last long.


Real "localism" would be allowing local people to decide for themselves how much council tax to pay and what to spend it on, not having any of it dictated by central government.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 23:10
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Well actually, I don't/can't vote in English/British election but that is a force of circumstance and no one's fault. The levy is just that though, the thin edge of the wedge that, once successful for something as emotive as social old age care, is likely to be repeated for other causes which might not hold so much public attraction.
It is entirely my fault of course that as a bitter and twisted teetotaller, I view aged social care as a euphemism for the necessity to clean up the alleyways and squares of the congealed mass of Special Brew human debris which one so often finds comatose or gibbering poisonous invective in British towns at any time of the day.
Any expenditure that is ring fenced by central government should not be shouldered on to local government. Otherwise the books will not reflect the honest accounting which is so necessary to a Christian nation and even more so under an Islamic one with the enforcement of Sharia finance.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 23:20
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Do you by any chance have elderly parents or grandparents who might need the help of carers at home, now or in the future? That's the sort of thing the increase in your council tax is meant to cover.
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 06:05
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What shabby devious conduct!
Some businesses who have a fixed charge per month have now decided that four weeks constitute a month. So instead of 12*$XX, you now pay 13*$XX.
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 08:13
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Originally Posted by cavortingcheetah View Post
Any expenditure that is ring fenced by central government should not be shouldered on to local government. Otherwise the books will not reflect the honest accounting ...
Absolutely agree. You'll probably find that approx. 100% of councillors of all parties agree with you on this one.
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 09:45
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Anyone who has elderly relatives who may require carers will find themselves funding it out of their own pocket unless they have very low savings / income.
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 10:20
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Marvellous stuff, morphine.
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 20:12
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Well actually, I don't/can't vote in English/British election
I am interested to find out why someone who is pay English/British Council Tax can't vote in an English/British election... (There will be some cases, but...)
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 20:21
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RE "Furthermore, it places the financing of the 'social' care of adults onto the shoulders of the local councils and not on government."

The provision of adult social care has always been the responsibility of the local authority so no change there. The increase in tax and therefore funding will be very gratefully received by the disabled and elderly who have borne the brunt of the cuts in funding over recent years.
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 21:40
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Trossie:

A foreign national (except Irish citizens) may not vote in general elections. EU nationals can vote in local and European elections.
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 21:55
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Originally Posted by Trossie View Post
I am interested to find out why someone who is pay English/British Council Tax can't vote in an English/British election... (There will be some cases, but...)
There are lots of cases. Apart from the complications of which types of European / Irish / Commonwealth / etc citizen can vote in local / parliamentary / Euro elections, and the need to get the paperwork right (actually register to vote in the place you want to vote in time; get all the details absolutely correct on your postal vote[#]), there are some less common obscurities, eg one of my colleagues on the council got herself appointed to the HoL and could not then vote in the following general election.

[#] I've heard of a postal vote being rejected because it was thrown out by the automatic signature checking machine, even though the agents watching the count knew the bloke and knew that his signature tended to be a bit random. I think we never told him his vote wasn't counted, because he is a bit of a bureaucratic pedant and might have tied the council up in legal action for years, and it wasn't as if the result was close enough for his vote to be vital.
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Old 13th Mar 2016, 08:03
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Originally Posted by k3k3
A foreign national (except Irish citizens) may not vote in general elections.
In General Elections (the 'British' elections quoted by cavorting?), British citizens and British residents who are citizens of Ireland, Cyprus and Malta and residents from British Overseas Territories and British Crown Dependencies can vote, as well as British residents from the following Commonwealth countries:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunel Darussalam, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji Islands, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

In addition to that in Local Elections (the 'English' elections quoted by cavorting?) British residents from those few extra EU countries can vote.

So, not quite correct that
A foreign national (except Irish citizens) may not vote in general elections.
My suggestion is that if you are not in any of those lists above and you are a British resident, then it is a privilege that you are enjoying being here and you should be quite happy to accept your Council Tax and all its 'precepts' as part of that privilege!

And if anybody paid proper attention, you would have noticed that the 'Adult Social Care' precept was included in the last Autumn Statement, Autumn Statement: Local authorities allowed to increase council tax by two per cent to spend on adult social care | UK Politics | News | The Independent, so should come as no surprise.
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Old 14th Mar 2016, 13:21
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This week will see the ninth UK government budgeting exercise in six years. It's perhaps understandable that sometimes little pieces of financial finesse slip through the analysis exercise that follows each and every shift in the taxation structure of Britain or its composite parts. There really can be no doubt too that such is very often the design and subterfuge of the chancellor concerned.
Now, if you happen to be British or a bit British and favour Brexit, secure in the myth that Britons will never be slaves, then the right of British residence can approach divine benediction status. In reality though, while the state of being a British resident might be seen as a privilege, depending upon one’s level of patriotic zeal, it certainly carries a financial price and why should it not. Many a country charges money for the right to reside within its borders. Residence is nothing more than a financial arrangement. The country taxes and the individual resides. That's a perfectly fair trade off. One can always go and buy a similar commodity somewhere else. You can do that no matter what your citizenship or country of birth. Residence is a market transaction while citizenship in many countries is nothing more than a consequence or mishap of birth. Neither is a privilege unless one chooses to become besotted, by jingo!
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Old 15th Mar 2016, 08:57
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privilege a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group. (Oxford Dictionary of English)

"...available only to a particular person or group."

I doubt that this 'Adult Social Care precept' can count as 'slipped through' when it was clearly announced in the Budget speech and reported in so many newspapers.

(Must pay more attention before complaining, by jingo!)
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Old 15th Mar 2016, 11:49
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It is surely somewhat contradictory to the principles of a purported democracy to suggest that a tax payer who cannot vote should consider himself a fortunate fellow and pay, willy nilly, whatever taxation raises might be levied by the government, central or local, without any form of right of complaint. It's also quite draconian, in a dictatorial sort of way, to take the view that if a tax payer has missed a press announcement of a coming tax rise then that omission somehow places a culpability on the head of tax payer that binds him over for ever to comply with that levy in uncomplaining silence.
No taxation without representation is an old axiom and here's the Miriam Webster definition of representation, Websters being a source which seemed more appropriate under the circumstances:

' a usually formal statement made against something or to effect a change (2) : a usually formal protest'.

We shall await the devious developments of tomorrow with anticipation.
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Old 15th Mar 2016, 20:02
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I prefer Stalins take on it.

"He who votes, changes nothing. He who counts the votes, changes everything".
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