Pete Challis explains how much more the rich benefit from a council tax freeze than the poor do.
Pete Challis is a former Greenwich councillor and chaired the Association of Local Government housing committee from 1990-99
Today’s Guardian says George Osborne will announce another £800m for councils in England to pay for a second ‘council tax freeze’.
A council tax freeze is simply a tax cut for the rich.
For 5,701,353 band A households the saving is just £23.98 a year. But for the 129,663 band H households the saving is three times as much – £71.95. They live in homes valued at more than £320,000 – at 1991 prices – it is the reverse of the ‘mansion tax’.
But it also disproportionately benefits London and the South East.
The average band D council tax is £1,439.
But there are big regional differences in the distribution of properties between bands, as the table below illustrates:
|Yorkshire & the Humber||1,019||461||384||214||133||64||37||3|
|East of England||362||538||660||439||266||145||98||12|
Looking at the effect of the 2011/12 council tax freeze, the 261,000 households in London in bands G and H benefited more than the 659,000 households in the North East in Band A.
|Yorks & the Humber||£24,435||£12,907||£12,269||£7,716||£5,853||£3,329||£2,198||£230|
|East of England||£8,681||£15,053||£21,105||£15,799||£11,714||£7,516||£5,861||£876|
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• Crazy Taxpayers’ Alliance attack on council that’s saving money – Daniel Elton, August 30th 2011
• How Pickles’s brutal council tax benefit reforms will pulverise the working-age poor – Ed Turner, August 4th 2011
• Eric Pickles uses council tax map to lead us astray – Katie Schmuecker, April 15th 2011
• Local authorities face much higher cuts than Pickles claimed – Rosanna Singler, December 17th 2010
• Tory cheek on council tax rises – Shamik Das, March 25th 2010