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Reck B

Council Tax

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Just having a nose around the Council's website to see if I could find out what percentage of the council tax i pay goes towards paying staff pensions - i see they are fairly defensive about certain 'myths' and are trying to put the record straight.

Is it me or have they swerved the question on Pensions totally in question 3? Are they obliged to tell me what % of council tax is used to pay pensions if I asked?

http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/councildemocracy/councilfinance/budgets/budget2009-2010/council-tax-myths.htm

1) Devon County Council is a high spending council.

Wrong. The County Council is actually a low spending council. The Audit Commission, the independent watchdogs on council performance, ranks Devon as the County Council with the lowest spend on central costs. However, over the past 13 years successive Governments have gradually transferred more of the cost for paying for council services from national taxation to Council. Today, 68 per cent is funded through Government grant and 32 per cent from Council Tax compared to 76 per cent and 24 per cent respectively in 1993-94.

2) Council Tax is high to pay for the bureaucrats at County Hall.

Wrong. The County Council has comparatively low admin costs. For every one member of staff at County Hall, there are 15 working in local communities. All of our County Hall staff are either working in front line services to the public or providing vital support to keep them running.

3) Council Tax is high to pay Councillors’ allowances and pensions.

Wrong. Councillors’ allowances, which are taxed and from which they have to pay their running costs, are among the lowest in the region. The change in allowances, proposed by an independent panel, was met entirely from the Council’s annual efficiency savings. The County Council has not implemented in full increases previously proposed by the independent panel. Councillors rejected proposals for pensions. (??)

4) Council Tax is high to pay for more Council staff.

Wrong. Our schools staff, who are appointed by individual governing bodies, have increased, but all will be paid for by Government grant. The number of non-schools staff has actually reduced this year.

5) Council Tax is high because of Council debts.

Wrong. Devon County Council has borrowed prudently to pay for a much needed improvement programme in schools, libraries, roads, recycling and care facilities that have been widely welcomed by local communities. The investment provides jobs and contracts for the county’s building trades. The County Council also receives Government grant to help fund borrowing re-payments. In addition, the Council benefits from access to cheap rates of interest and spreads the cost of repayments over 25 to 30 years. It’s a sensible and highly cost-effective way to fund community improvements. For comparison, if the County Council tried to pay for just one new secondary school without borrowing it would require a Council Tax increase of between 11% and 15%. A new primary school would require an increase of 1.5% .Devon's reserves are in good shape and the independent Audit Commission says the County Council’s finances are well managed.

Edited by Reck B

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The thing is most local authorities have been cutting back for years.

The county council where I live is already pared down to the bone so the forthcoming cuts are going to be savage in terms of redundancies and loss of services.

However, the district council that covers the immediate area where I live has been less efficient and I've heard stories of money wasting that verge on maladministration.

So the picture varies.

Edited by Hyperduck Quack Quack

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So basically they are up to their necks in debt, they have hired a bunch of new people to work in the schools, and they are doing a good job as measured by the challenging yardstick that is 'how badly are all the other bloated councils doing?'.

They need to hire a few more Propaganda Press Officers.

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Just having a nose around the Council's website to see if I could find out what percentage of the council tax i pay goes towards paying staff pensions - i see they are fairly defensive about certain 'myths' and are trying to put the record straight.

Is it me or have they swerved the question on Pensions totally in question 3? Are they obliged to tell me what % of council tax is used to pay pensions if I asked?

Councillors are not staff - they are the elected representatives - from the answer it appears that they are not entitled to pensions.

If you are talking about the local government pension scheme then it is a contributory scheme whereby salary contributions from the employer and employee go into a funded pension pot. Unlike the civil service scheme the local government one is funded (actual money goes into actual investments).

In fact the local government pension scheme is one of the biggest investors in UK equities around, your company is probably partially owned by LGPS members so get back to work and stop wasting my pension :)

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If you are talking about the local government pension scheme then it is a contributory scheme whereby salary contributions from the employer and employee go into a funded pension pot. Unlike the civil service scheme the local government one is funded (actual money goes into actual investments).

And the books balance???

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And the books balance???

Think there are 99 seperate funds, some balance and some don't. However they are significantly better than almost every other scheme around.

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Think there are 99 seperate funds, some balance and some don't. However they are significantly better than almost every other scheme around.

Is that because of the generous giving of the council?

What amounts of money do council's give to their staff for pensions?

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