Falmouth PacketRemember the Poll Tax, Cornwall councillors should (From Falmouth Packet)

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Remember the Poll Tax, Cornwall councillors should

Your pal the Skipper has railed before against plans at the Blue Kremlin to make the very poorest people in Cornwall pay council tax.

Well Tuesday was D-Day, and to my great surprise, councillors decided to... not decide anything in particular.

So while we enjoy this brief reprieve, it may be useful to walk those in power down memory lane. Two decades ago, proposals very similar to those currently being bandied about sparked mass violent protest and the downfall of a Prime Minister.

Back then people called it the Poll Tax and the government of the day called it a “community charge”. But its underlying premise - taxing the poor more and the rich less, is just as unfair and counter intuative now as it was back then.

Never mind the fact that collecting cash from people who have none is difficult to say the least. 

Now, it is no doubt very cheeky of the government to push the housing benefit responsibility onto local councils and then stand back and let them take the flak, but for Cornwall Council to pick up the baton and plan to victimise those least able to take the punishment is surely not the way forward.

We all know Cornwall is jammed to the rafters with second homes, so to my mind the simple, and as yet unmentioned, way to fill the funding hole is to ramp up their council tax to pay for it.

It may even help bring some life back to those areas that have long been cleared of any semblance of it outside holiday season.

Comments (11)

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11:57am Thu 17 Jan 13

ronedgcumbe says...

I agree taxing the poorest while increasing allowances for yourself is in very poor taste.
It is the poor tax payer who will have to fund the court charges as people on means tested benefits will never be able to find this money.
I agree taxing the poorest while increasing allowances for yourself is in very poor taste. It is the poor tax payer who will have to fund the court charges as people on means tested benefits will never be able to find this money. ronedgcumbe
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

I completely agree with the Skipper.
I suggest most Councillors do not have a clue what it is like to live on a very low fixed income. If they were to experience living off one they would not I doubt be suggesting/voting that those who do should pay council tax.
I completely agree with the Skipper. I suggest most Councillors do not have a clue what it is like to live on a very low fixed income. If they were to experience living off one they would not I doubt be suggesting/voting that those who do should pay council tax. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Tue 22 Jan 13

Chelz65 says...

I am one of those people you speak of. In April I will need to find 14% of my rent, along with ??% of my Annual Council Tax. I am supposed to find this from the sickness benefits I receive, The benefit Letter states "This is the minimum amount required by LAW for me to live on" So how can it be minimum by Law now, yet in April I have to afford all this extra money from it.
Localisation of Council Tax will hit so many low paid workers in Cornwall. Workers that are paid so low that's why they get the Council tax benefit in the first place. Come April they too will have to find ??% of their Council Tax.
Coupled with this is the bedroom Tax. A system that the Government tell us is brought in to alleviate the need for social Housing etc.
Yes, I have a spare room, well all 4.5sq m of it. At present HB pays my rent in full. If I were to take a 2 bed in the Private Sector HB would be paid in full at an amount a lot higher than they pay now!!
Cornwall Council do not have enough properties for people to 'downsize' to.
This isn't just about bricks and mortar, this is about peoples 'homes'.Some of which have been lived in for many many years. Is it right that people should be 'forced from their homes?No doubt we will hear many Cllrs saying "We feel like we are doing the Governments Dirty Work" Well I believe "They Work For You" should apply at ALL levels of Governance but at the moment I see nothing at all being done from Cllrs to help the working poor of Cornwall or people like myself.
I am one of those people you speak of. In April I will need to find 14% of my rent, along with ??% of my Annual Council Tax. I am supposed to find this from the sickness benefits I receive, The benefit Letter states "This is the minimum amount required by LAW for me to live on" So how can it be minimum by Law now, yet in April I have to afford all this extra money from it. Localisation of Council Tax will hit so many low paid workers in Cornwall. Workers that are paid so low that's why they get the Council tax benefit in the first place. Come April they too will have to find ??% of their Council Tax. Coupled with this is the bedroom Tax. A system that the Government tell us is brought in to alleviate the need for social Housing etc. Yes, I have a spare room, well all 4.5sq m of it. At present HB pays my rent in full. If I were to take a 2 bed in the Private Sector HB would be paid in full at an amount a lot higher than they pay now!! Cornwall Council do not have enough properties for people to 'downsize' to. This isn't just about bricks and mortar, this is about peoples 'homes'.Some of which have been lived in for many many years. Is it right that people should be 'forced from their homes?No doubt we will hear many Cllrs saying "We feel like we are doing the Governments Dirty Work" Well I believe "They Work For You" should apply at ALL levels of Governance but at the moment I see nothing at all being done from Cllrs to help the working poor of Cornwall or people like myself. Chelz65
  • Score: 0

3:39pm Wed 23 Jan 13

GrahamHarris says...

EVERYONE should pay council tax.

I dont see why anyone gets discounts or even pays nothing.

Everybody wants their bins emptying and everyone wants the Police to turn up if necessary - therefore everyone should pay something!!!
EVERYONE should pay council tax. I dont see why anyone gets discounts or even pays nothing. Everybody wants their bins emptying and everyone wants the Police to turn up if necessary - therefore everyone should pay something!!! GrahamHarris
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

GrahamHarris wrote:
EVERYONE should pay council tax.

I dont see why anyone gets discounts or even pays nothing.

Everybody wants their bins emptying and everyone wants the Police to turn up if necessary - therefore everyone should pay something!!!
I agree you may have a point about everyone contributing something, however, how can you contribute money you do not have if your income is a set amount, different counties will now pay different council tax rates and yet the benefits will remain the same throughout the counties.
[quote][p][bold]GrahamHarris[/bold] wrote: EVERYONE should pay council tax. I dont see why anyone gets discounts or even pays nothing. Everybody wants their bins emptying and everyone wants the Police to turn up if necessary - therefore everyone should pay something!!![/p][/quote]I agree you may have a point about everyone contributing something, however, how can you contribute money you do not have if your income is a set amount, different counties will now pay different council tax rates and yet the benefits will remain the same throughout the counties. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

Incidentally I do not claim any benefits and therefore am expressing an unbiased view.
Incidentally I do not claim any benefits and therefore am expressing an unbiased view. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

5:58pm Wed 23 Jan 13

jane-w says...

Means testing is the only way. Why should the poor people have to stump up just because Mr or Mrs X living in their million pound mansion on their own gets 25% discount automatically yet probably have more income than the poor person. If everything was means tested then everyone would pay less in theory for example if means testing came in then things like prescriptions etc would be cheaper. Also in the case of council tax there would be more income to pay for the services. As stated above anyone on benefits gets the minimum needed to live on according to the law so if they now force these people to pay council tax then surely they are breaking the law!!
Means testing is the only way. Why should the poor people have to stump up just because Mr or Mrs X living in their million pound mansion on their own gets 25% discount automatically yet probably have more income than the poor person. If everything was means tested then everyone would pay less in theory for example if means testing came in then things like prescriptions etc would be cheaper. Also in the case of council tax there would be more income to pay for the services. As stated above anyone on benefits gets the minimum needed to live on according to the law so if they now force these people to pay council tax then surely they are breaking the law!! jane-w
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

If the government stopped paying a winter fuel allowance to people now living in Spain it may have more money to give local councils. After all, the fuel allowance is not like a pension, nobody paid in for it.
I agree too, the 25% single persons discount should be means tested but there again it would probably need government legislation.
If the government stopped paying a winter fuel allowance to people now living in Spain it may have more money to give local councils. After all, the fuel allowance is not like a pension, nobody paid in for it. I agree too, the 25% single persons discount should be means tested but there again it would probably need government legislation. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

9:43am Thu 24 Jan 13

GrahamHarris says...

This is why there is absolutely nothing wrong with a poll tax.

If there's 1 person in a house they pay a certain amount, if there's 4 in a house they should pay more surely?

Whether you've got any money or not is irrelevant, each person should be paying for the services provided.
This is why there is absolutely nothing wrong with a poll tax. If there's 1 person in a house they pay a certain amount, if there's 4 in a house they should pay more surely? Whether you've got any money or not is irrelevant, each person should be paying for the services provided. GrahamHarris
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

GrahamHarris wrote:
This is why there is absolutely nothing wrong with a poll tax.

If there's 1 person in a house they pay a certain amount, if there's 4 in a house they should pay more surely?

Whether you've got any money or not is irrelevant, each person should be paying for the services provided.
You have a good point about the concept of a poll tax, however, not sure about if you have any money or not being irrelevant. When my husband died in his forties, he was seven years older than me, I lost my home because I could no longer afford the mortgage, I had two children one of which was not living at home any more, I was suddenly plunged into a situation where I had no money because I had to move and therefore give up my job. I was told I did not qualify for benefits as I was too young to be a widow(their exact words at the benefit office) and I had not paid enough national insurance contributions because I had stayed at home to bring my children up for years and therefore had not worked enough years to pay enough NI, therefore, on your theory how would I suddenly have been able to afford poll tax for myself and one dependent. This would have worked out dearer than normal council tax.
[quote][p][bold]GrahamHarris[/bold] wrote: This is why there is absolutely nothing wrong with a poll tax. If there's 1 person in a house they pay a certain amount, if there's 4 in a house they should pay more surely? Whether you've got any money or not is irrelevant, each person should be paying for the services provided.[/p][/quote]You have a good point about the concept of a poll tax, however, not sure about if you have any money or not being irrelevant. When my husband died in his forties, he was seven years older than me, I lost my home because I could no longer afford the mortgage, I had two children one of which was not living at home any more, I was suddenly plunged into a situation where I had no money because I had to move and therefore give up my job. I was told I did not qualify for benefits as I was too young to be a widow(their exact words at the benefit office) and I had not paid enough national insurance contributions because I had stayed at home to bring my children up for years and therefore had not worked enough years to pay enough NI, therefore, on your theory how would I suddenly have been able to afford poll tax for myself and one dependent. This would have worked out dearer than normal council tax. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Lanty Slee says...

Graham, are you a fan of Margaret Thatcher by any chance?
Graham, are you a fan of Margaret Thatcher by any chance? Lanty Slee
  • Score: 0

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