Thursday, 4 September 2003

Stop this rip-off

I'm certainly no fan of taxation and think that almost all government functions should be privatised immediately. Nevertheless, I can't help but be annoyed at the poor level of collection of council taxes in Scotland:
SCOTTISH councils failed to collect £131 million in council tax payments last year - a shortfall that will almost certainly force up bills next year.

Scottish Executive figures for collection rates revealed that Glasgow and Dundee were again the worst performers, failing to collect about 15 per cent of their council tax bills.

The collection rate varied from Glasgow’s 83.7 per cent to Orkney with 97.7 per cent.

Edinburgh collected the most council tax, £151 million, at a collection rate of 90 per cent, up £23 million on the 1998-9 figure.

I calculate that I am paying an extra £170 per year to bankroll the freeloaders - and that's in Edinburgh, one of the most more efficient councils. I note that Glasgow and Dundee are "again the worst performers." These cities contain a large proportion of council houses and I expect that many of the non-payers live in those tax-subsidised accommodations. They should be told: "Pay up or get out." That's the message I would get should I not pay the common service charges for the privately owned block in which I live.