Azara Blog: Old people are worst hit by council tax

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Date published: 2005/11/27

The BBC says:

Council tax rises are hitting the finances of pensioner households far harder than those of younger people, according to research from the Halifax.

On average, council tax accounts for 6% of household income amongst the over 75s, twice the rate for the under 50s.

Overall, council tax bills have risen 121% since 1993 compared to an 83% increase in average salaries.

But pensioners feel tax rises more keenly because the state pension increases only in line with prices.

In addition, many pensioners live in large houses which attract a high council tax charge.
Halifax's research did not take account of pensioners claiming council tax benefit.

At present, 2.4 million pensioners are receiving the benefit.

But Age Concern has estimated that at least a million older people are failing to claim, mainly put off by complexity and fear of means-testing.

The Local Government Association (LGA) called for an end to means-testing of council tax benefit.

Such geniuses at the Halifax. Council tax is a (crude) property tax and therefore is a (crude) wealth tax. Wealth taxes hit people who have more wealth than income (relatively speaking) just like income taxes hit people who have more income than wealth (relatively speaking). So wealth taxes have more of an impact on the old and income taxes have more of an impact on the young. Tell us something we don't know. (Life would be much better if you had wealth when you were young and income when you were old, but unfortunately it happens the other way around. Perhaps we should live our lives backwards.) Of course old people generally vote more enthusiastically than young people, so most governments would be wise not to piss off old people, especially since their number is increasing. The real problem is that everybody wants lots of services but nobody wants to pay for them, and the politicians and the media unfortunately play along with this silly game.

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