Friday, August 19, 2011

Bring out your prejudices…

Pensioner facing jail for refusing to pay full council tax' because she doesn't want to dip into her savings'

"The widow, who receives state and private pensions of around £9,000 a year, was brought to court for non-payment of council tax by South Norfolk District Council... Mrs Farrow who has no children and lives alone with her nine-year-old Alsation called Sheba vowed to continue only paying £25 a month as she did not think it was fair on her to pay more. Nita Eagle, the council's a debt recovery manager, said Mrs Farrow had been liable to pay a single payment of £95.21 and nine subsequent payment of £99 on her Band C property." Yup, she's happy taking £9,000 from the taxpayer each but she doesn't want to pay anything back into the pot. Look love, if you don't want to pay the Council Tax there are millions of young people who would be delighted to do so :-)

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:46 PM (2878 views)
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17 thoughts on “Bring out your prejudices…

  • This lady almost certainly wants to stay in the property because she sees it purely as her home (emotive/sentimental reasons being her main desire to retain it having built the property with her late husband many decades ago). Under the circumstances the local council should (IMO) apply a charge to the property and recover the oustanding money and associated costs when it is eventually sold. No point in wasting more time and money – apply the charge and move on quickly.

    She could of course seek specialist advice on a suitable equity release scheme and continue to pay her way accordingly.

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  • happy mondays says:

    Bang her up, she’s no better than the looters.. Refusing to pay into this honorable system of our’s, it should be seen as an act of defiance against the country! After all the nice people that run our country & only do kind & considerate greatness with the money, what sort of message is she sending to them! That it’s ok to steal from people, that it’s ok to f**k people over..We have to nip this in the bud, otherwise god forbid, even the politicians & bankers might do some naughty things..But we know they won’t because DC say’s we are all in this together…& His a nice bloke..

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Jack C, and that’s exactly what the court did, so no harm done.

    HM, do you think she’ll refuse to accept her £9,000 a year pension paid out of everybody else’s taxes as an act of defiance as well? No, I thought not.

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  • to be fair to her – part of her income is a private pension (not taxpayers money) and as she is not on pension credit her council tax is not paid for her. 9K p.a. is not a lot when you have to live, pay council tax and utilities.

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  • Quite ironic that she is an ex-self builder, something extolled by many including the casually callous Mr Wadsworth, has savings totaling a modest £19K from a lifetimes work as a nurse and if you look at the picture she lives in a house resembling a flat-roofed industrial unit situated in what can only be described as rapidly over growing scrub.

    The story takes no account of her mental state and with no children there is no guiding hand to help her make the right decision to cut her losses before her flat-roof fails and move to a nice little terraced house or flat with no garden to maintain.

    She can be as stubborn as she likes but the council will eventually win out in the end, especially if she ends up in care, if she is that worried about her finances a little friendly help would go a long way.

    I also imagine she is a potential UKIP voter so perhaps it would be good policy to push i.e. make her (pensioners) exempt of council tax and rent (as long as she is resident) and signs the property over to the local council.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    Cripes, that should cause the DM readership a little cognitive dissonance. A tax avoiding pensioner? Can not compute.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    SBC, as Uncle Vince said, a good tax is something that only OTHER people have to pay, and by extension a taxpayer funded pension is an ENTITLEMENT. There’s no recognition of the fact that today’s workers (i.e. taxpayers) are paying today’s pensions.

    Plus, from the DM’s point of view, Council Tax is The Worst Tax, despite there are millions of young people who’d love to be in the position to be able to pay more (i.e. by buying a house). And it only raises a quarter as much as VAT.

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  • happy mondays says:

    mw if she’s paid into it all her life then the systems say’s she should!
    It bugs me that it’s always the small person that get’s persecuted for there “crimes” yet all the bigger boy’s with the finance & know, get off without the correct punishment!

    Rerum Mutatio

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  • happy mondays says:

    mw if she’s paid into it all her life then the systems say’s she should!
    It bugs me that it’s always the small person that get’s persecuted for there “crimes” yet all the bigger boy’s with the finance & know, get off without the correct punishment!

    Rerum Mutatio

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  • happy mondays says:

    whoops

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  • She certainly has no +moral+ duty to pay, as she appears to have no contract with the council.

    Legally, of course, they may well be able to get a conviction as the state courts are unlikely to find against the state.

    Anyone who wats to follow this up further might care to check out the lawful rebellion website.

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  • I have every sympathy for her. The problem is that council tax is very regressive AND it has gone up much faster than inflation and wages over the past couple of decades. It is there to trap you into the system. It is the one tax that prevents you dropping out and going all “The Good Life.” £9k a year is not much to live on.

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  • Builditandtheywillcome says:

    What is your problem with elderly nationals, Wadsworth? This lady has paid in through life, and has a private pension to subsidise her state pension. Tell me why you are happy to castigate this BRITISH citizen who has contributed, but has to watch as foreign nationals run into the country and take social housing and benefits as a right. I salute this lady, if only there were more like her. We sit and watch as council bigwigs trouser six figure pay packets for producing f**k all, politicians rob us through expenses, and the bankers rape us through problems brought on by themselves……..and then read this crap posted by you. I’m assuming you think it best to shoot people at retirement age, as they are such a burden on your hard earned tax contributions? Thank god you aren’t a child of mine, i’d be looking over my shoulder 24/7.

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  • MW,
    The problem here is more that the council tax is disproportionate to the value of the land. We’re talking about a modest house (band C) in rural Norfolk. The LVT on such a property would probably be a lot less than the council tax. I think there’s definitely a case to be made for cutting council tax in many areas, and raising it in many other areas – in particular in London. Of course LVT would do all that and more.

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  • Drewster, your solution sounds great except council tax is a local tax for local services. Your idea would make for some very wealthy London boroughs – think Westminster – and some very impoverished rural councils, think Cornwall, unless, of course, your idea would include a mechanism for transferring the wealth of the boroughs/cities to their rural neighbours and beyond.
    I live in rural South Hams – where a lot of the very rich spend some of their time in the second homes – and the struggle of the bulk of the resident population on local incomes and part-time or seasonal work is astonishing. To see the gulf between the haves and the have-nots, try visiting Salcombe or its surrounding villages. You can’t eat wonderful scenery.

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  • Stuart,
    That’s only true if council tax / LVT is kept locally. No other tax is local – we don’t ring-fence VAT, income tax, or even business rates – so there’s no reason why LVT shouldn’t just go into the same national pot.

    Even today Westminster is quite a bit richer than other authorities. There are fewer-than-average children in Westminster, so they save money on schools, libraries, and other social services for children. There are also fewer old folk (how do councils cope in Torquay?), so less money spent on care for the elderly. Finally council tax isn’t their only source of revenue. Westminster council owns several large car parks, which in central London raise a lot of money.

    There’s a completely separate argument to be made about whether we should have more localism, like the American or German Federal systems. Britain is one of the most centralised countries of its size. Our willingness to redistribute wealth geographically means we have places like Wales and the North East where a large proportion of local employment and incomes come from the public sector.

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