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Welcome to Isitfair

Isitfair was started in October 2002 by Christine and John Melsom as a local action group in Hampshire.  They were incensed about the proposed huge increase in Council Tax bills for the year 2003/04.  This was the year when the average increase was 12.9%!  Although the Government at that time knew that this was going to happen, they did absolutely nothing to prevent it.  Instead, they blamed the local councils!

Isitfair believes that the current council tax system is unfair, being based on property values as opposed to peoples' ability to pay.  At the end of the day, despite the arguments for and against this system, properties do not pay this tax, it is the occupants of the property that pay it, and not necessarily all of them.

Click here to read more.

Local Government Finance Settlement 2017-18: Technical Consulation

Published on 15 September, this consultation seeks views on:

  1. The Distribution of Central Resources
  2. Changes to Local Resources

Under Changes to Local Resources section 3.3, the Government is proposing to introduce council tax referendum principles for parish and town councils under certain conditions. This is something that Isitfair has been campaigning for for many years now. Click here to read more.

According to this document, the average Band D increase for the tax year 2016-17 is a whopping 6.1%.  The basic rule for determining if a parish or town council should be subject to referendum principles is:

The Band D precept is higher than that of the lowest charging district council for 2016-17 (£75.46), and the total precept for 2016-17 is at least £500,000.

There are additional conditions where a transfer of responsibilities has taken place.

Now is the time for you to have your say

The consulation can be downloaded from the DGLG website here: Local government finance settlement 2017 to 2018: technical consultation.

We know from your feedback that many of you are suffering from significant increases in your town and parish precepts this year. It is therefore important that you get involved with this consultation and give feedback.  This consultation closes on 28 October so you need to respond as soon as possible.  These inflation busting increases must be stopped.

Don't be fooled by the disingenous claim in paragraph 3.2.1:

Government is committed to keeping council tax low and, under the existing principles, the average Band D increase for 2016/17 was 3.1%, which means that council tax is still 9% lower in real terms than it was in 2009/10.

This completely ignores the previous years when council tax increases were always higher than inflation.  What the public sector needs to understand is that it cannot just carry on increasing council tax year on year.  It needs to understand that council tax payers don't have bottomless pockets that they can dip into.

Related news report:

Parish councils may face referendum cap over "excessive" tax.

George Osborne's Autumn Statement 25 November 2015

Council tax payers were hit with a new 2% precept on top of their usual tax bills to help fund the cost of local social care.  The LGA have estimated that Band D bills could cost an average of just under £200 more over the next five years.

George Osborne We believe that the cost of social care should be paid for through general taxation, just like the NHS.  Why should council tax payers only have to pay for the cost of failing to fund social care properly?  Is it fair?    How many times have we heard this Chancellor stand up and say that everyone should pay their fair share of taxes?  Then there's "We're all in this together."

Except that is, if you are a council tax payer.  The Chancellor has shirked his responsibilities to the vulnerable and most needy in our society, put up council tax for hard working families and left it to the local authorities to sort out the mess that he has created through his austerity measures.  So much for being a compassionate conservative.

If you feel as aggrieved as we do and would like to make your feelings known, then we have some contact details for you and further information. Click here to download.

The full text of the Autumn Statement is available online at:

Parliament > Hansard > Commons Debates

Council Tax News and Information

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