Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 2nd May 14, 3:58 PM
    • 10,673Posts
    • 55,732Thanks
    edinburgher
    Only freedom will do
    • #1
    • 2nd May 14, 3:58 PM
    Only freedom will do 2nd May 14 at 3:58 PM
    It has come to my attention that I have been here for a very long time

    I joined these forums in a dim and distant past, where money was my enemy and the weight of my student debts left me crushed and panicked, unable to picture a future where I would be able to get a debit card (never mind a mortgage).

    5 years later and the milestones of marriage, first home and first car have come and gone. Throughout it all, I have had a creeping feeling that something wasnít quite right. I donít get the world of work, and while Iíve never been unemployed in my adult life, Iíve tried too hard to try my hand at too many things and Iím left feeling like Iím an actor who recognises the play, but does not understand his motivation.

    As some of you will know, I have experienced some real heartache of late. Your messages of support and hope have been so touching and in many cases, I have got more comfort from anonymous individuals who took the time to get in touch than people I know in the Ďrealí world.

    While money would have done nothing to prevent it, the luxury of savings and our hard work over the years meant that we were in a position to make the right decisions and take our time with our next steps. Returning to work has been a real blow and without sounding even more melodramatic, I donít think Iíd realised just how damaging I find the merry-go-round of rote work, office politics and bureaucracy.

    It wonít do, I canít believe that this is as good as it gets and to quote one of my favourite singers ĎWe can always build a world better than thisí.

    From this point on, I plan to dedicate myself to achieving financial independence. Not MFW, but freedom from all the nonsense that we go through to just to pay for a pile of bricks and a few years of leisure at the end of our span.

    Hopefully you can join me for the journey
Page 274
    • earthgirl
    • By earthgirl 19th Mar 17, 3:58 PM
    • 2,407 Posts
    • 19,445 Thanks
    earthgirl
    I use godaddy and heart internet. Both are really simple. Hearts servers are Europe (London) based and this used to help us with ranking better for U.K. Searches. Not sure if this is still a factor in the algorithm or not!
    15/5/12 Paid off Mortgage 1 (£220k) Dec 13 - £116,508 Bought Dream House Dec 14 - £94, 402 (£22,106 offset in 2014) Jan 16 - £67, 852 (£26,550 offset in 2015) Dec 16 - £33,529 ( £34,323offset in 2016)
    Jan 17 - £39, 773 (Re-estimation of endowments )
    June 17 £32,053 Sept 17 £22,619
    Kids savings 13,578/36k
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 19th Mar 17, 8:52 PM
    • 5,772 Posts
    • 29,935 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Council tax has risen here too by 2.6%; not quite so bad as your rise.

    Quite surprised your house is a Band E (from what you've said about it before), it may be worth trying to get is re-banded. Mine is Band D and if I am recalling the details about your house correctly, is larger and has quite a lot more land. I don't live in the ghetto, either.
    Money saved 2017: £3330. Overpayments 2017: £500.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From £32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • SuperSecretSquirrel
    • By SuperSecretSquirrel 20th Mar 17, 8:01 AM
    • 572 Posts
    • 2,536 Thanks
    SuperSecretSquirrel
    Council tax has risen here too by 2.6%; not quite so bad as your rise.

    Quite surprised your house is a Band E (from what you've said about it before), it may be worth trying to get is re-banded. Mine is Band D and if I am recalling the details about your house correctly, is larger and has quite a lot more land. I don't live in the ghetto, either.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Bands are based on property value back in 1991. First I thought a case of location location location - a studio flat in central London could no doubt be valued higher than some massive rural barn conversions, so could easily end up in a higher band. It's actually harsher than that though, moved goalposts for Scotland:

    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/council-tax-bands-change

    Value in 1991 range for band E in England £88,001 - £120,000 and Scotland £58,001 - £80,000

    Of course houses in Scotland may well have been cheap back in 1991, but I'd guess not necessarily the case when considering a desirable area of a major city.
    Mortgage [2013 £64k|2014 £51k|2015 £38k|2016 £26k] £17,182.66
    MN [2013-£25k|2014-£2k|2015+£16k|2016+£34k] +£45,783.87 (MFiT4:+60k)
    NW [2013 £126k|2014 £156k|2015 £190k|2016 £228k] £258,813.46 (2020:300k)
    FI [2013 -1.2%|2014 2.8%|2015 6.9%|2016 13%] 16.5%
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th Mar 17, 9:52 AM
    • 5,772 Posts
    • 29,935 Thanks
    AlexLK
    There's yet another reason to choose a rural area over an urban one. Banding for Scotland seems really unfair, though I think council tax is ridiculous. I cannot see how living in a house of greater value correlates to a greater use of public services controlled by local government. If anything, I'd imagine in most cases the opposite to be true.
    Money saved 2017: £3330. Overpayments 2017: £500.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From £32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 20th Mar 17, 1:12 PM
    • 10,673 Posts
    • 55,732 Thanks
    edinburgher
    Not entirely sure that's true SSS? I seem to recall Westminster having some of the lowest council tax in the country?

    I'm not sure Alex understands the link between tax and broader shoulders...
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 20th Mar 17, 3:34 PM
    • 1,473 Posts
    • 16,867 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Not entirely sure that's true SSS? I seem to recall Westminster having some of the lowest council tax in the country?
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    Ah yes, that was in the days of the Tesco heir - Dame Shirley Porter. [The Thatcherite leader of Westminster City Council was the first to really decimate public services in the name of lowering rates/community charges/poll taxes/Council Tax - relying on people thinking they were just paying for streetlights and bin collections.]

    Sorry. I apologise for ranting about the loathsome woman
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 20-03-2017 at 3:36 PM. Reason: Apologise for ranting
    MFiT T4 #2 update 31.2% after Q6
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £8112.39 saved (73.74%) after August - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 61.61/66.66% including stores after July
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th Mar 17, 4:52 PM
    • 5,772 Posts
    • 29,935 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I'm not sure Alex understands the link between tax and broader shoulders...
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    I understand that link perfectly well and plan accordingly so as to pay as little tax as is legally possible.

    If there has to be a tax to provide local government services (not sure why income, corporation, VAT etc. taxes aren't enough) everyone should pay a flat rate. It shouldn't be based on what the property you live in is worth.
    Money saved 2017: £3330. Overpayments 2017: £500.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From £32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 20th Mar 17, 5:24 PM
    • 10,673 Posts
    • 55,732 Thanks
    edinburgher
    So a billionaire should pay the same taxes as a 95 year old widower with only the state pension for income? How unenlightened!

    I have nothing against using legal means to reduce taxes, but flat taxes sound like a terrible idea
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th Mar 17, 10:36 PM
    • 5,772 Posts
    • 29,935 Thanks
    AlexLK
    The problem arises when the 95 year old widower is living in a Band H property. In the Derbyshire Dales district he'd be paying c.£3,500 per annum to the local council, just as the billionaire living in a Band H property would be.

    If we were taxed a flat rate for each person, I think the majority would be paying less. I may be wrong about this but there has got to be a better way than taxing for local services based on property value?
    Money saved 2017: £3330. Overpayments 2017: £500.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From £32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 21st Mar 17, 8:09 AM
    • 3,783 Posts
    • 41,655 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    If we were taxed a flat rate for each person, I think the majority would be paying less. I may be wrong about this but there has got to be a better way than taxing for local services based on property value?
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    I rather thought we had that Alex - it was called the 'poll tax' or 'per head' tax. In theory it should have been fairer, but I seem to recall an awful lot of unfairness and an awful lot of opposition to it. I seem to recall paying a similar amount in poll tax, to what my household council tax is now. Regretfully I don't have 'THE' answer that would make the burden fair for all shoulders to bear, but a flat tax is not without its problems, and it has been tried (although whether much thought was put into it's development is a mootpoint).

    Greying
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 21st Mar 17, 9:22 AM
    • 10,673 Posts
    • 55,732 Thanks
    edinburgher
    The problem arises when the 95 year old widower is living in a Band H property. In the Derbyshire Dales district he'd be paying c.£3,500 per annum to the local council, just as the billionaire living in a Band H property would be.

    If we were taxed a flat rate for each person, I think the majority would be paying less. I may be wrong about this but there has got to be a better way than taxing for local services based on property value?
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    I don't follow? Both are rich in bricks and mortar and pay the same amount for enjoying the ownership of a larger/more expensive than average home.

    Surely a better example of what you're proposing would be said widower paying the same council tax on a tiny bedsit as the billionaire does on his Band H country pile?

    Now that is unfair, as by virtue of his larger 'chunk' of land, the billionaire does consume more services than the widower.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 21st Mar 17, 9:31 AM
    • 1,473 Posts
    • 16,867 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I don't follow? Both are rich in bricks and mortar and pay the same amount for enjoying the ownership of a larger/more expensive than average home.

    Surely a better example of what you're proposing would be said widower paying the same council tax on a tiny bedsit as the billionaire does on his Band H country pile?

    Now that is unfair, as by virtue of his larger 'chunk' of land, the billionaire does consume more services than the widower.
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    Not necessarily. The billionaire may be a work-obsessed single woman, in rude health consuming nothing but bin-collections while the widower needs social care to maintain his independent living, needed to downsize to an urbanisation where he could collect his grandchildren from school, and feels safer walking under streetlights than he did in his rural property. That's at least three services he is directly or indirectly consuming...
    MFiT T4 #2 update 31.2% after Q6
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £8112.39 saved (73.74%) after August - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 61.61/66.66% including stores after July
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 21st Mar 17, 10:59 AM
    • 10,673 Posts
    • 55,732 Thanks
    edinburgher
    I find the use of bold a little patronising if I'm honest SL.

    Alex supports a flat tax, I think that this is unfair due to a discrepancy in services consumed. I can't see that adding hypotheticals as to what services you think our hypothetical consumers are using advances either argument.

    It is reasonable to assume that a larger property costs more for the council to service as: it generates more rubbish (or potentially does as it has more principle apartments), can house more people (greater demand on schools, doctors social care), requires the expenditure of more manpower to support (as it covers a larger area of land, there will be more roads (distance) and streetlights (quantity) to keep people travelling to and from it safe.

    In any case, we need to talk about the same thing. My billionaire/widower example was intended to show why I felt Alex wasn't doing this.
    Last edited by edinburgher; 21-03-2017 at 11:04 AM.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 21st Mar 17, 6:18 PM
    • 5,772 Posts
    • 29,935 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I rather thought we had that Alex - it was called the 'poll tax' or 'per head' tax. In theory it should have been fairer, but I seem to recall an awful lot of unfairness and an awful lot of opposition to it. I seem to recall paying a similar amount in poll tax, to what my household council tax is now. Regretfully I don't have 'THE' answer that would make the burden fair for all shoulders to bear, but a flat tax is not without its problems, and it has been tried (although whether much thought was put into it's development is a mootpoint).

    Greying
    Originally posted by Greying Pilgrim
    Thanks, Greying.

    I was still at school when we had the poll tax. All I remember about it centred around the reporting of its opposition. However, I'm not really sure how it was unfair (do not know much about it).

    I don't follow? Both are rich in bricks and mortar and pay the same amount for enjoying the ownership of a larger/more expensive than average home.

    Surely a better example of what you're proposing would be said widower paying the same council tax on a tiny bedsit as the billionaire does on his Band H country pile?

    Now that is unfair, as by virtue of his larger 'chunk' of land, the billionaire does consume more services than the widower.
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    There are a lot of people "rich" in bricks and mortar but have little in terms of cash. A lot of the population seem quick to classify people as being "rich" when they aren't really. Besides, most people go through financial ups and downs over the course of their lives, regardless of the house they are living in.

    I think if there needs to be a tax for local services (personally, I think the government should fund local services from all the other taxes we pay and cannot see how they fail to balance their accounts when there is so much revenue), it should be based on a personal rate rather than the value of the property lived in.

    I find the use of bold a little patronising if I'm honest SL.

    Alex supports a flat tax, I think that this is unfair due to a discrepancy in services consumed. I can't see that adding hypotheticals as to what services you think our hypothetical consumers are using advances either argument.

    It is reasonable to assume that a larger property costs more for the council to service as: it generates more rubbish (or potentially does as it has more principle apartments), can house more people (greater demand on schools, doctors social care), requires the expenditure of more manpower to support (as it covers a larger area of land, there will be more roads (distance) and streetlights (quantity) to keep people travelling to and from it safe.

    In any case, we need to talk about the same thing. My billionaire/widower example was intended to show why I felt Alex wasn't doing this.
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    I don't think council tax pays for GP surgeries (NI?) or roads (VED?). I could be wrong, though.

    However, some things you mention there are much more relevant in a city: roads - a lot of large houses will be supported by a private lane leading to an existing road and streetlights - what are those?! No streetlights near my property or near my parents' property. Plenty near my in-law's property though and they pay significantly less in council tax.

    Thinking about the services we're talking about I wonder if a pay as you use type tax would work and be fairer, e.g. if you have streetlights, you pay a proportion of the cost to run them. Not having streetlights close to my house would mean I didn't pay that particular component but as my son currently attends the village school, I would pay the school component until he left.
    Money saved 2017: £3330. Overpayments 2017: £500.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From £32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 21st Mar 17, 7:38 PM
    • 10,673 Posts
    • 55,732 Thanks
    edinburgher
    Thinking about the services we're talking about I wonder if a pay as you use type tax would work and be fairer, e.g. if you have streetlights, you pay a proportion of the cost to run them. Not having streetlights close to my house would mean I didn't pay that particular component but as my son currently attends the village school, I would pay the school component until he left.
    You're probably right re. GPs, I had always thought that some healthcare stuff (local primary care centre type things) were funded by CT, I am wrong on that front.

    Your large house with a private lane is large, ergo it uses more of the public road to connect it with the rest of civilization, raising costs (even without streetlights).

    I think your 'PAYG' tax will not work - why don't we replace it with a tax that bundles together lots of services and tries to charge people based on their ability to pay? We could call it 'Council Tax'
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 21st Mar 17, 8:51 PM
    • 3,783 Posts
    • 41,655 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    Thanks, Greying.

    I was still at school when we had the poll tax. All I remember about it centred around the reporting of its opposition. However, I'm not really sure how it was unfair (do not know much about it).
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Everybody had to pay 'something' - even the unemployed and students. It was less, IIRC, but you still had to pay. It didn't get away from income disparity - as CT doesn't, it's just that CT is based on property 'value' which is a nonsense - whereas poll tax was an arbitary figure seemingly made up by what the council wanted to spend and they knew how many people they had to divvy it up between in a given area, to fund them.

    Sorry for the thread hijack, ed.

    Greying
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • katep23
    • By katep23 21st Mar 17, 9:46 PM
    • 1,175 Posts
    • 8,903 Thanks
    katep23
    You're probably right re. GPs, I had always thought that some healthcare stuff (local primary care centre type things) were funded by CT, I am wrong on that front.
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    Some health and social services (stop smoking, substance abuse services, domiciliary care) are funded by local authorities, others are funded by the NHS via Clinical Commissioning Groups (such as GPs), whilst yet others are funded jointly.

    The budgets generally work in silos so what benefits one agency in cost reductions may cause increased costs to another agency - we need cross-agency budgets to improve the situation.

    Sorry to side-track the discussion!

    Edit: some roads are the responsibility of local authorities, some are down to Highways England. I don't think VED income is attributed to road maintenance.
    Last edited by katep23; 21-03-2017 at 9:50 PM.

    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 21st Mar 17, 10:35 PM
    • 10,673 Posts
    • 55,732 Thanks
    edinburgher
    Curious why you think property values are nonsense Greying? Sure, the values used are out-of-date, but the practice of valuation is well established and reasonably consistent
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 21st Mar 17, 10:57 PM
    • 5,772 Posts
    • 29,935 Thanks
    AlexLK
    You're probably right re. GPs, I had always thought that some healthcare stuff (local primary care centre type things) were funded by CT, I am wrong on that front.
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    So far as I am aware the NHS and State Pension are funded by NI. I could well be wrong as I know very little about this.

    Your large house with a private lane is large, ergo it uses more of the public road to connect it with the rest of civilization, raising costs (even without streetlights).
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    Ed, the only contact with the rest of civilisation is a single track road width at the bottom of the lane / drive in most cases. How does that raise costs? Even tiny houses have drives that connect to the main road, I hardly see how this is different?

    I think your 'PAYG' tax will not work - why don't we replace it with a tax that bundles together lots of services and tries to charge people based on their ability to pay? We could call it 'Council Tax'
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    Council Tax doesn't charge on the basis of service usage. E.g. my parents pay c.£3,500 council tax per annum. They have their bins collected once per week and the bins are the same size as everyone else's. They don't use and have not used in the past: streetlights, schools, social care, the fire brigade or other LA provided services. In contrast, my in-laws pay very little council tax c.£1,000-1,250 per annum (less than half!). They similarly have their bins collected once per week but use or have used streetlights, schools (for 3 children), social care and other LA provided services. My parents pay enough tax without being taxed to live in a nice house whereas my in-laws pay less tax but use more services.

    My proposal would be for people to pay to access / use services which seems the fairest way to me. However, I could well be wrong.
    Money saved 2017: £3330. Overpayments 2017: £500.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From £32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 21st Mar 17, 11:39 PM
    • 5,772 Posts
    • 29,935 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Just read this page back to myself and realise I am being somewhat dense and rather self absorbed. Whilst I don't really agree with the amount of taxes we pay in this country, I have spent a while thinking about the alternative (each providing for ourselves) and it led me to think about some of the pupils I teach. I don't think some of the pupils would have an education if it were left to their parents to pay for the service. It often seems like we pay far too many taxes. On a personal level, I often feel I'm not getting value for money. However, I wouldn't want to see a child go without an education or somebody elderly and infirm with only a state pension go without help.

    I was being selfish and idealistic (that we can all pay for ourselves).
    Money saved 2017: £3330. Overpayments 2017: £500.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From £32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

252Posts Today

1,896Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Shana tova umetuka - a sweet Jewish New Year to all celebrating. I won't be online the rest of t'week, as I take the time to be with family

  • Dear Steve. Please note doing a poll to ask people's opinion does not in itself imply an opinion! https://t.co/UGvWlMURxy

  • Luciana is on the advisory board of @mmhpi (we have MPs from most parties) https://t.co/n99NAxGAAQ

  • Follow Martin