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'All to pay at least 30% council tax' call defeated

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 06, 2012

Cornwall Council

'All to pay at least 30% council tax' call defeated

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PLANS to force households in Cornwall to pay a minimum of 30 per cent council tax have been set back after councillors voted against the proposals.

Cornwall Council is reviewing its system after the Government shifted responsibility for council tax benefit onto local councils.

A number of households in Cornwall are entitled to 100 per cent council tax benefit, but officers at Cornwall Council said if that was to remain it would need to find an extra £4.4 million a year.

They recommended several changes, including setting a minimum charge of 30 per cent for all households, with no discounts for households higher than band D.

However the council's corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee last week recommended the existing system remain, despite the warnings about financial implications.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Alex Folkes said: "If you have a large family and you live in a large house above a band D, that is your home and you are there because you need that size of home.

"Why should you be forced out of that house because you will have to pay more for your council tax?"

Mr Folkes also suggested changes being made to increase the council tax paid by second home owners and owners of empty homes could be used to offset the costs of council tax benefit.

And Councillor Anne Kerridge said: "This benefit is for people who have got no money and it makes no difference what you ask them for, they have still got no money?"

Councillor Fiona Ferguson, Cabinet member for corporate resources, said the minimum charge was required and urged councillors to approve the officers' recommendation.

She said: "I think we have to make it clear to people that we can't just continue the current scheme. We don't have the resources and we just can't."

The committee recommended that there should be no band D cap for council tax benefit and the existing scheme should continue.

A final decision will be made by the Cabinet next week.

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  • Doitdreckley  |  December 08 2012, 11:12AM

    With all due respect to those who posted after me, esp.CornishBill, this is not Cornwall Council's fault and most councillors seem to be against it. This policy has been cooked up by the Condems nationally.

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  • Helston123  |  December 07 2012, 5:18AM

    well hopefully next year the all the councillors will pay their council tax on time (they know who they are) this would be a great help, they should be-able to afford it now after they gave themselves a pay rise (would never have happend if they kept alec robertson)

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  • willlefeurve  |  December 06 2012, 9:40PM

    I would very much like to know how much Cornwall County Council actually really costs us. I know for a fact the waste within the council is appalling. And don't get me started on the mind boggling executive pay... What good does this overpaid, wasteful, bureaucracy actually do. Answers on the back of a nano-grain please...

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  • Turnerscrafts Ltd  |  December 06 2012, 8:50PM

    When a large number of cornish residents, those who are at the moment getting 100% rebate, because of their income, are then forced by the council to pay 30%, and are unable to, because they are unable to find this money, and not all of these people are claiming unemplyment/sickness benefits, are then visted by the council's bailiffs, and cannot also pay the inflated bailiffs fees, and are then subsequently imprisoned for none payment, how will the officers then say, where this money should come from? 4.4 million pounds to be paid by the least able of the residents is a financial disaster about to happen, perhaps these officers recommending this should be retrained or better still got rid of, now there could be a saving worth thinking about. Doitdrekley is quite right taxing those who don't have money is the economics of a fool, and our council tax is paying those fools. These benefits were put in place to protect the vulnerable, its OK for those officers and the likes of Fiona Ferguson, to say, we after all are paying their inflated wages, waes that they seem incapabe of earning properly. If, as Fiona Ferguson says,the resources are not there, then find them, reduce the wastage of employing idiots and fools, reduce the wastage of inflated consultants fees,and reduce the rest of the wastage that the council occurs,(and yes there is a hell of a lot of it) and then look for innovative ways of making and saving money, and stop throwing your hands in the air and saying we don't have the resources, the vulnerable will have to pay, (yes i accept that there is probably a few exceptions). IF they cannot pay, and that is what will happen, what will you do then, hide your heads in the sand, and say its not our fault, well it is and will be your fault because you seem to not have the wherewithall to be able to think for yourselves as councillors, you let the officers do it for you, get your heads and backsides in gear and do the job you were elected to do, and stop penalising the electorate. This is an ill thought out idea, which has been rejected by scrutiny, quite rightly so, and should be rejected by cabinet, but we will wait and see, but beware if you press ahead with this, I can see it coming back to bite you pretty hard!!

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  • Doitdreckley  |  December 06 2012, 3:31PM

    Second home ownership taxation (except for where it is a legitimate business that can demonstrate that it employes people) should be punitive. Cameron has developed his own brand of 'poll tax'. With people either on low wages, working part time (because they cannot get full time jobs) or hit by the others costs of living it is a mystery how people of working age are meant to find 30% of their Council tax which for most will be around £400 a year. The 'government' (and I use that term loosely) are not allowing local authorities sufficient freedom to raise the taxes that they need locally to keep jobs and services afloat. Taxing those who dont have any money is the economics of a fool.

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  • Newquaygreen  |  December 06 2012, 2:35PM

    I don't understand why 2nd homes shouldn't have to pay 100%. The arguement they don't use the services for 52 weeks of the year doesen't wash. If this applies then the rest of us are losing out as we never get the full potential tax paid. In this case Cornwall is disadvantaged to say a big urban area where 2nd homes are probably rare.

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  • josdave  |  December 06 2012, 11:57AM

    And Councillor Anne Kerridge said: "This benefit is for people who have got no money and it makes no difference what you ask them for, they have still got no money?" That may be the reason but how many of those getting 100% council tax relief go on holiday run a car and have expensive electronic gadgetry in their homes? These are the ones who should be singled out and made to pay their way not those who genuinely deserve benefit.

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  • JJLee  |  December 06 2012, 11:07AM

    It seems to be a bit of a sensitive subject, not sure why the people were discovered via good journalistic practices and is clearly just as news worthy as the MP expenses scandal

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  • JJLee  |  December 06 2012, 9:25AM

    Just for you BG http://tinyurl.com/ctr5q2o Mainly Cllr Alex Folkes

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  • Big_Ger  |  December 06 2012, 9:09AM

    Which councillors did you have in mind JJlee? :-)

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