Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pennies on offer for the ultimate sacrifice

Council Tax relief for troops on operations

Armed Forces personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan will benefit from a tax-free rebate on the cost of council tax in new measures announced by Defence Secretary Des Browne today. All troops who pay council tax for a property in the UK will receive financial support through a flat-rate rebate payment over a six month tour of £140 - worth 25 per cent of the average Council tax bill.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:55 PM (1377 views)
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33 thoughts on “Pennies on offer for the ultimate sacrifice

  • This should go some way towards recompensing the troops for all the equipment they had to buy for themselves. And anyway, given the primitive conditions that many troops find themselves in when abroad, why should they pay for street lighting etc when they’re not benefitting from it? Given that some troops are spending more than half a year out of the country, it’s not like they’re entitled to the usual tax dodges for those living abroad.

    At least the govt is trying to go in the right direction here.

    I’ve found more military accom issues at

    http://www.soldiermagazine.co.uk/mail_archive/accomadation.htm
    (I’m sure that’s a mis-spelling of accommodation..)

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  • where i live, we dont have street lights, litter on grass verges that dont get cut, and rubbish collections that would make steptoe and son ashamed…

    the rates are a joke in this country just another stealth tax… like speed cameras, etc etc

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  • It does beg the question why are troops serving abroad made to pay Council Tax at all? I bet the money removed from these soldiers doesn’t go back to the MOD either but to the central pot in the Treasury. I recently read a report that troops serving abroad do not qualify for a tax free income. Why? If an IT expert or plumber works abroad, he/she qualifies for a tax free income. It is not as if soldiers are well paid for risking their lives, with poor equipment and appaulling medical care, on the illegal wars politicians start.

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  • Sorry – this is madness.

    If you own a property in the UK you should pay the relevant tax on it. The street still needs to be lit whether they are there or not. By all means vote for a pay-as-you-dump scheme to save them some cash but be prepared for lots of fly-tipping.

    Soldiers in Iraq are fighting an illegal war. They are war criminals. I was disgusted to find that they actually get a letter that means they get to jump the NHS queues. I think that is disgusting. I’m a non-war criminal and they get preference. Now they want to pay less council tax! They should read the small print before they sign a contract.

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  • inbreda your funding an illegal war through your taxes why don’t you refuse to pay, you’ll go to prison like the soldiers who refuse to fight but at least you’ll feel good about yourself.

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  • Su, they will have to buy even more equipment for themselves now as the money is going to come from the MOD budget, I believe.

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  • This represents 25% – yeah right. 25% at 6 months which is 12.5% why can’t polticians say it straight!

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  • Anyone see Dispatches on the blatant abuse of MP’s expense claims (not available via Freedom of information and no need to keep a recipt for anything under £250) and a pension that is second to none and bullet proof.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this press release was spun out to divert attention away from that program.

    Personally I think the avg MP’s salary should be 2x national avg and their pension should equal the national avg pension, lets called it performance related pay!

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  • Inbreda.

    I don’t understand why you think the soldiers are the war criminals. At the end of WW2 I believe it was only those in leadership and those who were unnecessarily cruel, who were tried for war crimes. When people join the military I doubt very much the small print says they’ll be sent to Iraq. And anyway, the payment is also for soldiers in Afghanistan – do you think they are fighting an illegal war too? There are also “soldiers” who are doctors, nurses etc whose main job is not to kill.

    Try http://soldiermagazine.co.uk/mag/update1.htm General Dannatt, who is not afraid to confront the Govt when necessary, explains the importance on the campaign in Afghanistan.

    And regarding your comment “If you own a property in the UK you should pay the relevant tax on it”
    I’m not sure, but I think many soldiers live in rented accommodation, mostly provided by the military.

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  • inbreda , you are a traitor to Britain and should be hung from the neck until dead. To think that my family have fought and died in every conflict since 1795 to allow worthless scum like you to exist makes me feel ill.

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  • inbreda

    If you don’t live in a house you own, then you pay a lower amount of council tax. The classic example is the second-home which is used as a holiday home; holiday home owners get a Council Tax discount because they don’t live in it full time. Why should a soldier be treated differently when she/he is required to risk her/his life abroad?

    For your point about the NHS, I think most soldiers wouldn’t want to be treated on the NHS. They would prefer the old system of military hospitals. These were small, top-class hospitals which were barely utilized because not many soldiers were killed during the Cold War and during the early 1990s. The military hospitals were then slowly closed. Would you prefer tax payers money were spent on military hospitals, most of which were never used/little used and to which you had absolutely no access whatsoever. Personally I think it is a good idea that MOD money is spent on a NHS hospital. When there are no injured soldiers waiting treatment, you get the benefit of military surgeons, doctors, nurses, radiographers et. al. and equipment purchased by the MOD. Hospitals with a military wing benefit from both staff and equipment much of which they would never have if it weren’t for the MOD.

    As for queue jumping, which would you prefer? To allow soldiers to be treated quickly or slowly. Treat them quickly and they can return to the battle quickly, and the total number of soldiers this country needs is reduced. Treat them slowly and they take longer, if ever, to return to the battle. If you choose the latter case, then you need many more soldiers because you can not re-use the broken/damaged ones. More soldiers means you pay more tax. You probably don’t appreciate that a significant minority of mental health patients in the UK (until they died of old age) were soldiers suffering from battle shock following WW2. Had they received quick and effective treatment on the battlefield, they might not have needed expensive treatment for the next 40+ years.

    War Criminals can be prosecuted by the international courts only in extreme circumstances, typically because their country does not have a fully functioning legal system. A war criminal with a UK passport can only be tried for war crimes by a UK court, because we have a fully functional legal system. As the UK courts are not full of returned soldiers under trial, they can’t be war criminals. Whether or not you think the war is illegal or legal does NOT matter. The democratically elected Government of the day made the decision to go to war, and therefore (under UK law), it is legal for soldiers to fight. (It is actually illegal for them to refuse to fight.) If you don’t like the Government’s decisions or actions, use your democratic right and vote against the Governing Party. But remember, you only have this democratic right because of soldiers.

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  • inbreda

    Actually I agree with daftboy.

    You can thank a teacher because you can read; you can thank a soldier because you can read in English.

    The next time there is a flood which effects you; the next time there is a firemans strike and your home catches fire; should you ever need rescueing from poor weather; the next time this country is facing a hostile political regieme, I hope you are more grateful to soldiers.

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  • tyrellcorporation says:

    Inbreda, you’re out of touch with reality. You should also calm down and burn those Michael Moore DVDs, you’ll only make yourself ill…

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  • Hey this is supposed to be about house prices! No dissention in the ranks!
    Anyway, don’t blame the poor old squaddies, they’re just doing what they’re told. Blame Tony Blair, if anyone.

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  • About time too!

    They’re doing a difficult and dangerous job with very few perks, particularly in comparison to the idiotic politicians who sent them there in the first place.

    Inbreda, thankfully you seem to be of a minority opinion.

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  • Cyril is right, but house prices are the result of easy credit endorsed and promoted by exactly the same guys how who sent UK troops to Iraq. The same people who were given another term in office in 2005 by a majority of UK voters. Unlike those voters, who could have chosen differently, British soldiers have no choice about where they should go once they sign up to fight and even DIE for the country. So give them a break please, this war is not their fault and they have offered their lives for the UK, compare that to Northern Rock paying dividends to their shareholders with YOUR TAX money and try to put things into perspective.

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  • “talking rot said…
    inbreda

    Actually I agree with daftboy.

    You can thank a teacher because you can read; you can thank a soldier because you can read in English.

    The next time there is a flood which effects you; the next time there is a firemans strike and your home catches fire; should you ever need rescueing from poor weather; the next time this country is facing a hostile political regieme, I hope you are more grateful to soldiers.”

    Actually I think you’ll find that I can thank my german teacher for being able to speak german, and I can thank all of those soldiers that just did what they were told in the german army for the death of my grandfather. It is brainless soldiers and an apathetic public that allow atrocities such as WW2 and Desert Storm and Vietnam to happen. I blame ignorant people such as thosee that have commented against me for the death of my grandfather.

    Was it for people like you that Winston won the war?

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  • tyrellcorporation says:

    ‘I blame ignorant people such as thosee that have commented against me for the death of my grandfather.’

    Oh dear you’ve lost the plot! …have a nice hot bath and some cocoa…

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  • by eck it’s all a bit hot in here!

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  • I’m with inbreda. The invasion and occupation of Iraq was and remains illegal.

    If there had been no oil in Iraq it would never have happened.

    Mugabi had better hope that vast oil reserves are not suddenly discovered in Zimbabwe.

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  • Inbreda,
    blame the apathetic public for voting and no doubt continuing to vote for a party who seem hell-bent on joining Dubya’s fight against his evil-doers, but singling out soldiers as “brainless” and “war criminals” rates as possibly the most despicable thing I have read online in quite some time.

    Both Afghanistan and Iraq are A-grade balls-up. Many many people did not want us to go to war but “Yo Blair” was prepared to sacrifice the lives of many Iraqis and British troops to keep in with his good buddy Bush. The decision to go to war was also supported by the illegitimate PM, Brown.
    Regarding the prosecution of war crimes “talking rot” comment above clearly explains the position a soldier finds himself in if he does not believe in a war.

    No doubt you will call me ignorant for commenting against you and blame me for the death of your Grand-Father.
    That quite frankly is insane.

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  • Ihopeitgoeswithabang says:

    I apologize for going back to the headline but …
    “£140 – worth 25 per cent of the average Council tax bill”
    Assuming that all these soldiers are single men living in 1 bed flats??
    So the average council tax bill is £560 ????? Since when????

    I would agree that Tony Blair got it wrong. For that his party should be duly punished. Whilst the general population has the right only every few years to vote him out, the labour party itself has the power to remove their PM from power at any time. It should have done so as soon as the mistakes of entering a war became apparent! i.e. no chems or nukes! For not doing so the they should be voted out. That is democracy in action – not just voting red or blue for the sake of it.

    The same can be said of Gordon ‘Arrogant’ Brown. He has caused a huge problem with housing and should be duly punished. Who cares what caused house pricing to get out of control. The fact is it was on his ‘watch’. Vote him out!

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  • Inbreda,

    Whilst the invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq (and others) is morally repugnant, completely illegle, and a total catastrophy for Anglo – US geopolitical influence, I cannot believe that you can apportion blame in this way to honorable British servicemen/women who are themselves victims of the US ‘Middle East policy’ that has brought carnage and chaos to millions of innocents

    I thought yours was a straw-man position created by the papers that rot and tyrell get their ‘news’ from, in order to discredit the anti-war movement generally.

    I understand your hatred for those who are are the cause of the situation, but nothing is to be gained by insulting our brave soldiers who, having signed up to defend Her Majasty’s Realm, find themselves fighting an unpopular, and unwinnable war, in order to further ‘other’ objectives.

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  • the “people” made their views clear in the biggest ever peace demonstrations against the Iraq war. Unfortunately it achieved nothing. We went to war anyway. Thanks to the soldiers that just do what they were told. And yet at the same time I appreciate the fact that these people lay their lives down – unquestioningly – for “the cause”. And yet, they have taken the salary in times of peace in the full knowledge that at any time they could be sent to war. A just war or an unjust war. If they’d read the small print they’d have realised that the difference was immaterial to them. Much the same way as if they’d read the small print they’d know that they still have to pay council tax even when they are away fighting a just/unjust war.

    Now they want the rules changed? No Chance.

    I am being antagonistic calling soldiers war criminals. In truth I would rather see Blair swinging from a branch and all the soldiers to come back unharmed. However, if they sign up to killing people just or unjust, then they can take the rough with the smooth. They can be called war criminals, because literally that is what they are.

    If only the German soldiers had had the morals to protest against what they were being told to do, then maybe things would have been different.

    Jingoism and a willingness to kill does not a democracy make.

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  • Getting back to the topic. I’m glad the govt is being more supportive of the troops, but I do wonder how all the increased spending in going to be raised. I believe TB promised new equipment etc for the troops – something along the lines of “whatever they need, they’ll get”. Regardless of folk’s views on these conflicts, they are costing us big-time! And what will take priority: military funding or compensating savers in banks which have gone pear-shaped?

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  • tyrellcorporation says:

    Su, TB brought new meaning to the phrase ‘talk is cheap’. He’s already totally forgotten; like a passing headline. Sadly his legacy concerning the nature of this country and society as a whole is permanent and far reaching. He quite litetrally got away with murder and yet people voted for him in droves. I’ll best remember him for donning some overalls, trying pathetically to get rid of some grafitti with a water jet and gleefully announcing his Respect Agenda to an eager group of media hacks – what a guy!

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  • Inbreda. If I had a close relative in Iraq right now, I’d be feeling pretty angry and hurt by your comments. I sincerely hope that is not your intention, so could you perhaps be less antagonistic, please?

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  • Tyrell.
    Tony could have made it big in Hollywood. But instead he chose politics. I do wonder what our country would be like now if he hadn’t got in. Sadly we’ll never know as many of the decisions he made are virtually irreversible.

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  • Well Pedagog. I believe in free speech. you can make a last request and then I will kick both of the stools from under you and your mate. My father was shot to bits by the Germans but still held them in the highest regard. I don’t know what inbreda’s Grandfather would make of his offspring.

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  • War is never something to be rejoiced over, but there is a difference between rejecting the idea of war and rejecting the soldiers who are caught up in it. I wept when the first bombs were dropped on Iraq, but I also feel for the soldiers and their families. War is a nasty business, but soldiers understand there are rules to war. No-one should be classed as a war criminal unless they break these rules. Soldiers understand those rules, which is why daft boy’s father (and others like him) can fight against an enemy, but still respect them.

    Many people have concluded that the Iraq war was an illegal one. The Vietnam war was not popular either. In that war the American people made the mistake of rejecting the soldiers who fought in it. That was terribly unfair for not only were the soldiers traumatised by their experiences, but they were then scorned by the country for whom they thought they were fighting.

    Another factor, which is often forgotten, is that soldiers often bring peace. Peace by physical force yes, but peace all the same. British soldiers have a good reputation in many parts of the world because of their efforts in peace-keeping operations. Many soldiers are compassionate family men who enjoy helping others. They have helped to fundraise for orphanages abroad and have helped in the distribution of aid. In the modern army there is much more to soldiering than fighting. And once they’ve signed up, they don’t get a choice of which job they’re sent to do.

    My point, in case you missed it, is whatever your views on war, our soldiers deserve to be supported by their country, their government and their people. If this means giving them equal rights to council tax relief (see Talking Rot’s posts), then I’m all for it.

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  • A true insult to our troops.

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  • Ref – In that war the American people made the mistake of rejecting the soldiers who fought in it

    Su, what you refer to here is one of the greatest propaganda coups of all time, as even to this day, this lie is the excepted narrative of America. It did not happen. in fact most of the vocal anti-war movement people where Vets themselves.
    This ‘official history’ was a tactical move to portray anti war protesters as ‘un -American traitors’ for not ‘supporting our boys’ when in fact the main objective of the anti-war movement was to bring the troops home out of harms way, and end the pointless slaughter of innocents in a immoral, and unwinnable war.

    Sound familiar?

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  • Who here really thinks the Iraq war is not a crime? If it is a crime, and I believe it is, then who are the criminals?

    I personally think that none of us can be proud of this war, but we should feel proud that we have men and women who wish to be soldiers.
    Since, the beginning or Iraq I think that the military in this country deserves to lose support, and that this will result in fewer kids signing up to be soldiers. This council tax thing is really a lure to encourage more people to enter the armed forces. And because of that, I think its wrong.

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