Monday, 22 February 2010
Another Reason I'm Happy I Live in Scotland
Did you know that Westminster government ministers sneaked through new rules before Christmas which allow England's pensioners to put off their council tax bills, using their homes as security? I certainly missed that. (By the way the article says Britain not England. I've altered it for reasons you'll understand later.)
The law says that eligibility will be subject to the person being an owner occupier aged 60 or over and instead of struggling to pay on a pension, the elderly would be able to put off payments until they or their spouse died or they sold their property.
A charge could be placed on the home, putting the town hall in second place to recoup cash after the taxman has taken his 40% inheritance tax on all homes worth more than £325,000. Under labour, council tax bills have more than doubled, now averaging £726 more than in 1997.
Over 20 years, for a couple with a typical home, this could amount to more than £73,000 as the town hall will also claim back deferred interest.
The scheme is to be rolled out first in Northern Ireland after the Rates (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009 received the Royal Assent late last year.
The reason I altered Britain to England is because the Scottish Government are responsible for council tax in Scotland. Since the SNP became the government in 2007 all councils have frozen council taxes and I understand it will also be frozen this coming financial year although water rates will increase.
Labour really have no morals. So many pensioners have lost so much of their well-planned pensions due to Gordon Brown's blatant theft, labour want us to pay up a hefty sum to fund their care of the elderly policies and now they want to tax our deaths even more.
This policy of course is to disguise the fact that council tax has now become unaffordable for many people. At present pensioners, if they fit the criteria, can receive discounts but many feel the application process intrudes upon their privacy too much. I agree. What labour haven't taken into account with this policy is that many of today's pensioners will feel uncomfortable at owing money to anyone. Most have paid off their mortgages and want to live the rest of their lives debt free.
Oh I'm sure labour will say the interest councils receive will stay with the relevant council, but what possibly will occur is that council budgets will be reduced accordingly.
We'll have to see how well this is received in Northern Ireland.
I'm pleased I live in Scotland.