Council Tax

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2007 Retired Members' Conference
13 June 2007

Conference believes that council tax is an inherently unfair tax which does not properly reflect people’s ability to pay. More importantly it is not based on an equitable system for calculating amounts that should be paid.

This is most clearly demonstrated by the current system of council tax collection, which specifically affects pensioners who pay a disproportionate contribution based upon arbitrary bandings dependent on property values, but not on income or more crucially an ability to afford these arbitrary amounts. Whilst the proposed re-banding may be advantageous to some pensioners, this will not address the basic problem of disproportionate payments. Thus many pensioners will continue to pay a higher percentage of their limited income on council tax than their working counterparts whose income is higher.

Conference therefore supports a radical solution to this problem whereby the current 25 percent rebate for all single households is maintained; and in addition all those in receipt of a state pension, or of pensionable age, and on a total income on or below the average wage should receive a mandatory rebate of 50 percent for single householders and 25 percent for married and civil partnership couples. This would address the inequity of the current system which results in pensioners on modest fixed incomes paying far more of this income in council tax than their working counterparts.

Conference therefore instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee to

1)liaise with the National Executive Council and other appropriate bodies about progressing this proposal;

2)publicise their support for this proposal through all appropriate channels;

3)urge retired members to write to their MPs to seek their support;

4)report back to Retired Members’ Conference 2008.