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This blog never meant to get political, but…

…but it did somehow.

So, a lot of people (both via email from this blog and at work) have been bashing me a bit for not voting. Seriously, I don’t like any of them. I was already to vote Lib Dem — the party I’m the most in favour of — but then I read up on the specifics of their Local Income Tax (via their site

“1 in 2 people will be better off through the proposed local income tax” the site proclaims: ever the loather of “half empty/half full” metaphors that soon clicked with me as “1 in 2 people will be worse off through the proposed local income tax”.

I used their handy tax calculator on the site, and I’m certainly in the 50% of people who will be worse off – a lot worse off as I discovered. The devil is in the detail, it seems. According to the tax burden for our flat (which I share with Sofia) is:

Total Household Income: £xx,xxx per year.

Individual Allowance: £4,895 per year (based on rates for 2005-2006).

Total Allowances: £9,790 per year.

Taxable Income After Allowances: £xx,xxx per year.

Local Income Tax: £2,258 per year.

Current Council Tax: £950 per year.

Your tax bill would be higher than under Council Tax. You would pay £1,308 more per year. Many lower income households would benefit.

“Many lower income households would benefit”! I’m sure they would! But that’s a shocking increase for me to find – there’s a point where I feel I’m subsidising too many households…

Currently, my council tax in Tower Hamlets subsides a lot of lower income households because a significant proportion of the local population ineligible to pay council tax due to their low income. I have no problems with that, they’re people on low incomes with no assets.

But if you have an asset (ie a house/flat) then surely you should be paying local tax regardless of whether you have income or not?

Published in BBC News Website Industry Thoughts and Rants