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Council Tax And Voting

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Sorry if this offends but it really gets my back up,I pay both council tax and business rates but live and work in an authority were voters would vote for Osama Bin Laden if he had the red rosette of labour on,now i'm not a tory by a means but i have the opinion that if you dont contribute to the upkeep of the local authority expenditure ie;dont pay any council tax you should not be able to vote,its very similar to letting prisoners vote,they contribute shag all to the the community but hardship.

Got a feeling I'm going to get some nasty reactions but hopefully positive ones a well

Do you remember the last time we had the poll tax? It was a disaster. I can't imagine any circumstances in which it would be a good idea to attempt to reintroduce it, or anything similar. We ought to be looking at ways of encouraging more people to take part in the democratic process, not finding ways of excluding even more people from it.

I'd like to see local councils elected using proportional representation, to avoid the kind of one-party fiefdoms your post really seems to be railing against, and I'd also introduce compulsory voting to reverse the decline in participation in local elections. If people know they have to vote, they might take a bit more interest in what and who they are voting for, which can only be a good thing. Plus, the politicians would have to work harder to win those votes and not rely on the party faithful and a low turnout to keep them in position longer than they deserve.

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OK, yes, I'll go along with that. However, councillors are very often limited in the power they have to change things as they have to operate within a national framework which can limit what they can do...or not do. They also need to be fully transparent and accountable , not like this lot: http://www.wilmslow.co.uk/news/article/7987/director-of-finance-departs-following-800000-lyme-green-scandal Clr Sam Corcoran, Labour spokesman, said: “The council has spent £100,000 on an independent report into Lyme Green but has refused to release the report.

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......... but hopefully positive ones a well

How's that going for you?

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How's that going for you?

I think most of the posts on this thread have been positive, don't you?

Positively against the opinion expressed in the OP that is. :)

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The government can force people to do jobs or lose benefits. The recent case was more about procedure than any actual fundamental issue (in law) with work schemes.

The case found that they could do the scheme, provided it went through parliament correctly. They found nothing wrong with the essence of the scheme (i.e. not slavery, not against human rights.). They ruled that the minister had gone beyond his authority, if he went to parliament and it went through there, then it would be OK and lawful.

would you get the sack for not working fast enough?

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As far as I know expats can vote in UK elections for 15 years after they leave. You sure you filled in the forms correctly?

As for tax, you clearly weren't rich enough for HMRC to ignore.

Interesting. Perhaps I should have looked more carefully. I did quite a bit of research before moving out to Greece and didn't come across any reference at all to maintaining UK voting rights. It may have been complicated by the fact that we kept our UK home initially (so would have received any electoral register stuff, forwarded to us) but sold it about 18 months later (so might not then have been able to receive any documentation). I have to admit, also, to not really being all that bothered about my UK voting rights, so I didn't try to chase it up.

As for my wealth, it has fluctuated over the years, but you are right in that I am not rich enough to ignore. :D However, HMRC have insisted I fill in a SA100 every year since I left the UK in 1998. Sometimes, the amounts involved have been 3-figure sums, at other times they've been less than a quid! It's actually cost them (and me :angry: ) more in postage than they've raised in revenue :wacko: .

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Do you remember the last time we had the poll tax? It was a disaster. I can't imagine any circumstances in which it would be a good idea to attempt to reintroduce it, or anything similar. We ought to be looking at ways of encouraging more people to take part in the democratic process, not finding ways of excluding even more people from it.

I'd like to see local councils elected using proportional representation, to avoid the kind of one-party fiefdoms your post really seems to be railing against, and I'd also introduce compulsory voting to reverse the decline in participation in local elections. If people know they have to vote, they might take a bit more interest in what and who they are voting for, which can only be a good thing. Plus, the politicians would have to work harder to win those votes and not rely on the party faithful and a low turnout to keep them in position longer than they deserve.

I don't like that idea. It sounds a bit totalitarian :D . I think I would be tempted to deliberately spoil my ballot paper in protest. But then, I am like that :huh: .

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would you get the sack for not working fast enough?

I think they just stop your benefits if you fail to attend or do something 'sackable'.

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How's that going for you?

Like a fart in a space suit :D

I think i'll read my posts thoroughly before posting in future after having a few sherbets.Let me re-phrase my post,the general gist re council tax= voting is against the "Full time Scroungers" we all know of some,I know quite a lot,who have been dole wallers since school,brought up numerous kids claiming every benefit,have no intention of finding work(unless its cash in hand)using every scam by any means possible.Even their children learn from their parents methods how to live of dole money,bang a few sprogs out,get a council house,get housing benefit and live of the backs of me and you for the rest of their lives.

Like i said on another topic my council leader earns more than the PM,which i think is disgraceful,years ago it was thought to be a privilage to serve your community,now its a money making farce.

The vast majority of people want to provide for their families,but there is a small minority who are happy doing sod all and believe the state owes them a living,these are the people who in my eyes dont deserve a vote in local elections as they provide nothing to the community.

The others mentioned by posters redundant people,disabled etc i have no gripe with as they did'nt choose that way.

As for the poll tax yeah i agree it was a disaster,but how fair is the current system where my mother-in -law who lives in a small terraced house on a pension,pays the same council tax as her next door neighbours(a family of 4 wage earners) because she saved some of her earnings during her working career.Likewise if (god forbid) she starts to suffer from dementia or something of that nature down the line her small amount of savings and her house shall be gobbled up by the care home,whilst the ones that saved nothing for a rainy day get the care scott free.

Anyway I'll start putting my bullet proof vest on now :)

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OK, yes, I'll go along with that. However, councillors are very often limited in the power they have to change things as they have to operate within a national framework which can limit what they can do...or not do. They also need to be fully transparent and accountable , not like this lot: http://www.wilmslow....e-green-scandal Clr Sam Corcoran, Labour spokesman, said: “The council has spent £100,000 on an independent report into Lyme Green but has refused to release the report.

If local councils ever did become truly representative and wholly accountable to the local electorate (I'm not holding my breath on that one) then that would also be the right time to re-examine the range of powers and responsibilities they have, to create a genuine layer of local government which we don't have now.

At the moment, it seems to me that local councils have the mucky end of the stick in that they are blamed for the state of their local services, council job cuts, library closures and all the rest, but the revenue they can raise is more or less dictated by central government through the size of the grant they receive and council tax capping. Pehaps this is one of the reasons why so many people think it isn't worth voting in local elections, beyond using it as a protest vote?

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I don't like that idea. It sounds a bit totalitarian :D . I think I would be tempted to deliberately spoil my ballot paper in protest. But then, I am like that :huh: .

Compulsory voting would only be 'totalitarian' if you were forced to vote for a particular candidate against your wishes. I wouldn't be in favour of any system that didn't allow people to spoil their paper or to be able to register a vote for 'none of the above'.

I don't think it is totalitarian to require people to make the effort to put a cross at least somewhere on a ballot paper every few years.

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If local councils ever did become truly representative and wholly accountable to the local electorate (I'm not holding my breath on that one) then that would also be the right time to re-examine the range of powers and responsibilities they have, to create a genuine layer of local government which we don't have now.

At the moment, it seems to me that local councils have the mucky end of the stick in that they are blamed for the state of their local services, council job cuts, library closures and all the rest, but the revenue they can raise is more or less dictated by central government through the size of the grant they receive and council tax capping. Pehaps this is one of the reasons why so many people think it isn't worth voting in local elections, beyond using it as a protest vote?

I'm not sure it's a revenue issue. If you expect councils to raise a large proportion of their own revenue then there'll be a real problem of councils in more deprived areas raising the money to provide services, while the more afflulent areas can get away with very low local tax rates. In essence, where the money needs to be spent and where the money needs to be raised are not even close to being the same place.

Personally, I think the key to it is to give councils much more power to spend their budgets as they see fit. They have been denuded of power over the past four decades and really are responsible for very little now. Even many of the services they still supply are actually delivered by private contractors. You might not like the way your bins are emptied, but there's nothing really that your local councillor can do because it'll be handled through a contract which has performance clauses in. If you vote your local council out because the services are poor, the new lot can't do much anyway because the contract still has five years to run. Local politicians just become targets for general frustration.

The situation is going to get worse. The current government is hellbent on reducing local government even further, sometimes through removal of services into the private sector under the direct control of Westminster, and sometimes simply by issuing diktats which must be obeyed. Look at education, where schools are being handed over, assets and all, to private companies who report directly to the secretary of state in London. The council, via the LEA, has no involvement at all any more, although the government still likes to point blame at them.

Maybe you remember the time last year when Eric Pickles decided to involve himself in the day to day management of bin collection up and down the country? Everybody must have weekly bin collections he declared from hundreds of miles away.

If local government has no power, then why would anyone bother voting for it? If you reduce councillors to simple box tickers of nationally set policy, or contract managers for long term deals with Serco or Capita, then where is the scope for variation, for differences between the parties, for local people deciding how they want their town to be run, for actual politics to happen at a local level?

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Compulsory voting would only be 'totalitarian' if you were forced to vote for a particular candidate against your wishes. I wouldn't be in favour of any system that didn't allow people to spoil their paper or to be able to register a vote for 'none of the above'.

I don't think it is totalitarian to require people to make the effort to put a cross at least somewhere on a ballot paper every few years.

OK! I will vote for you. ;)

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I don't think it is totalitarian to require people to make the effort to put a cross at least somewhere on a ballot paper every few years.

But without genuine devolution of power to a local level it would be, literally, a box ticking exercise.

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But without genuine devolution of power to a local level it would be, literally, a box ticking exercise.

I agree. I'd like to see both, but I doubt either will ever happen. One without the other would be counter productive.

At present, we vote in local elections for representatives who have the ability to act as little more than puppets, rubber stamps or whipping boys for central government. No wonder few people of stature bother to stand for election and many of the dwindling few who do bother to vote use local elections as a means to register a protest against whichever party (or parties) are running central government at the time.

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