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.



Quiet_Man said...

Typical Labour and typical of the anti-English bias that pervades the upper echelons of the Labour government. No doubt an English parliament would have stopped this, however the one country in the EU without a parliament is of course England.
How a country treats it's elderly is a measure of how civilised it is, clearly Labour are barbarians.

subrosa said...

QM, I don't honestly think Brown has an anti-English bias, in fact quite the contrary. He's certainly not interested in Scotland, but then we have a strong government leader here now and Brown refuses to speak to Alex Salmond.

I do believe an English parliament should have been part of the deal along with Scottish devolution but it didn't happen. Not enough English people opened their eyes to what was happening because they're too used to being the great majority in the British system. Sad but true.

I do hope they realise that now they've spent so long being complacent that it will take a lot longer for them to re-establish their identity; something the Scots never forget to do.

Sandy said...

The difference as you so rightly point out is a direct result of having an SNP government in Holyrood.

None of the so called unionist parties would have dared freeze council tax in the way the SNP have done.

We are vastly better served by our Scottish parliament than by those in Westminster.

Thanks once again for also drawing attention to the farce that much of the money spent on "Britain" simply fails to apply to Scotland at all.

Have a look at and see if you can find ANYTHING that applies to Scotland, yet we foot our share of the bill for the site just the same.

subrosa said...

Good link Sandy, thanks. Day by day I realise now fortunate I am to live here. In fact earlier this evening there was a minor health emergency in the house and up we went to the local hospital. The patient was seen within two minutes, problem detected and an appointment made for tomorrow with a GP for appropriate treatment.

Yes I know I'm fortunately but it was a considered choice. I could have lived elsewhere with access to a job with a great salary but I chose quality of life instead.

Stephen Gash said...

To say that Gordon Brown is not anti-English and that he is not interested in Scotland are both patently absurd statements.

The Barnett Formula is just the thin end of the wedge. Jobs are poring out of England into Scotland. Shipbuilding is one example. However, top-up fees, non-existent in Scotland are administered by a Scottish company. Unclaimed baby bonds in England are managed by a Friendly Society in Scotland. Businesses registered in England have their tax offices in Scotland.

HMRC's bank account was moved from the Bank of England to RBS, absurdly. Talk about rewarding failure.

Plans are afoot to move government departments out od London. You can bet your Barnett that Scotland will receive the juiciest.

It's not only Brown and Labour though. Cameron has just removed the sop of English Votes on English Laws, even though 90% of Tory MP respondants to an IPPR survey wanted it. However, the fact that only 114 MPs could be bothered to reply to the survey about the English Question shows just how little they actually care about we English, and precisely why we need an English Parliament.

That is not enough for me though. I want English independence.

Jim Baxter said...

I have little Barnet left to bet but we are all living on borrowed money and the truth is going to hit us all just as soon as the politicians, for their own short term ends, run the country out of credit.

That goes for us too in the Land O' Cakes.

Anonymous said...

Mr Gash: Brown has broken his butt to make sure that Scotland receives nothing extra out of his government.

If companies have made a decision to relocate to Scotland there will a commercial reason for this.

Much of the Royal Bank of Scotland group is the English National Westminster/Williams and Glynn Banks. Despite the head office being in Edinburgh and the name being Scotland the RBS is not really a Scottish Bank.

Brown hates Scotland and won't even admit to being a Scot. He has supported England over Scotland in football. He is a turncoat. We won't want him back here. He can sling his hook and live in England.

QM: The English MPs should demand an English Parliament. Even if they arranged English matters 2 days a week, and UK matters on the other two and used Westminster.

But of course that would be like admitting that England was on the same level as the other countries. And it’s not. There was never an English Office in the old days. There was never a Secretary of State for England. Of course not. The Westminster government was for England they didn’t need a Sec of State. They had the cabinet and the head of state. We Celts just got a department to look after us and the three most junior unimportant and usually completely useless secretaries. They in turn did what the (usually) English Prime Minister told them.

I agree with you that England gets a raw deal, but lord knows we've had it for ever.

Anonymous said...

Glad to her that your medical emergency is over satisfatorily SR

subrosa said...

I beg to differ Stephen. Brown has little interest in most of Scotland as can be seen by the behaviour of the labour party in the Scottish government. You would see the true picture if you were in it here.

RBS and Lloyds were not Scottish banks, they were international banks. It suited Brown to bail them out for his own political standing, nothing to do with Scotland or England for that matter.

Many Scots would be quite happy for the Barnett Formula to be dissolved and another system in its place. In fact a large minority of Scots would prefer to handle the Scots economy ourselves, but it's the Westminster politicians (unionists) who refuse to consider any alternatives without showing due regard.

The problem with the tories isn't one for the Scots. Yes I know you feel better blaming Scotland but we're not at fault. It's the Westminister politicians you should be venting your spleen at, not us.

I did a post last week about English independence and if you read it you'll realise I'm all for it. Glad you've woken up instead of having your head in the sand just because your population is larger.

Good luck.

subrosa said...

I thought we were already out of credit Jim. Maybe the book-keepers in the IMF haven't yet caught up with us but they will.

subrosa said...

Tris it's taken England nearly 13 years to notice they're getting a raw deal and as you say we've had one for a great deal longer.

I wish them well if they do go for independence. I've not seen much movement for it in recent weeks though sadly. Thought it was on the 'up' for a while too.

subrosa said...

Thanks Tris. All's fine.

John said...

And now there is this -

subrosa said...

Thanks for the link John. I should have mentioned that fact in the post although it will be mentioned in another soon.

I've just noticed you weren't on my blogroll, you should have told me. Amended now though.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Never heard of this and am surprised by the stupidity of it.

Seems Labour wants to socialise all the costs, privatise all the profits and now nationalise all the homes.

Just the thing to demoralise and smash the contentment of the elderly, a statement accompanying their rates demand telling them they're now due the council £50k ?

And all for a tax disguised as a service that is generally second to everything.

subrosa said...

Presently it doesn't seem to apply to us RA but that's not to say it won't cross the border at some time.

Sneaky trying it out in NI first though.

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