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Council Tax.

Old Holborn has come with an interesting slant on the latest council tax ‘demand’ which could catch on.

My Council Tax demand for 2010 has just dropped on the mat. £1769.90. Payable in advance.

Now, as regular readers will know, I am a Freeman on the Land. Which means I don’t pay demands. I pay for contracted services I am happy to receive. So let’s break down my bill and see what I agree to pay as a Libertarian.

Essex County Council £1328.25
Essex Police £161.48
Essex Fire Authority £81.18
Braintree District Council £198.99

Fire Service? Yup, happy to pay that amount. I’ll sign up for that
Police? No one else offers the same service for that price. I’ll sign

Now it gets to be fun.

Essex County Council. Total Revenue £2.1 Billion, of which I am forced to pay £1328.25

How do they spend that money?

Well, we have:

Education £994M (47%)
Putting the customer first £55M (2%)
Improving Transport £106M (5%)
Supporting Vulnerable People £696M (33%)
Waste and Recycling £52M (2%)
Making Communities Safer £49M (2%)
Operating costs £228M (11%)

Braintree District Council. Budget £19.4M. My contribution?£198.99

Waste and Recycling 22% (£4.3M)
Street Cleaning 6% (£1.2M)
Leisure & Culture 25% (£4.9M)
Safety 11% (£2.2M)
Planning 5% (£1.2M)
Housing Benefits 8% (£1.6M)
Parking 4% (£o.8M)
Democracy 9% (£1.7M)
Parish Grants 4% (£0.7M)
Other 4% (£0.8M)

Dear Town Clerk (no, you are not a CEO)

I refer to your offer to provide services to me for £1769.90. After a quick look through, I’m happy to pay for education, the Police, the Fire service. I’ll look after the rest thanks.

Could you please recalculate my bill to reflect this? I reckon it should be around £624 for education, plus the old Bill and the Fireman rounds it up to £866.82. Not £1769.90. As you are aware, unsolicited demands against unwanted services are unlawful. The plumber’s not allowed to do it, nor is Sky TV. Send me the contract (as required by law) and I’ll sign it.


Old Holborn


4 Responses

  1. Funnily enough, our council tax bill has arrived today. And oddly, the very same thoughts ran through my head too.

  2. I like it wonder if we could get away with doing that?

  3. Our latest exhorbitant demand has also landed. Every year, I ponder what other organisation could take a yearly bill and divide it by ten, thus ensuring that it’s paid off well before the end of the billing period?

  4. The least painful option is to pay by return post and be done with the Devil.

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