The ArgusBrighton and Hove councillors call for city taxes to stay here (From The Argus)

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Brighton and Hove councillors call for city taxes to stay here

The Argus: Jason Kitcat Jason Kitcat

Senior councillors have called for a bigger slice of taxation collected in Brighton and Hove to remain in the city.

Council leader Jason Kitcat and his Conservative counterpart Geoffrey Theobald have both called for the authority to be allowed to keep a larger proportion of property taxes currently sent to Westminster.

The move could raise an extra £100 million which would be spent to fund transport improvements, business structures and allow the city to become self-sustaining.

Councillor Theobald went even further to suggest the council should be allowed to keep all of the vehicle excise duty paid by Brighton and Hove motorists which could add an extra £20 million a year to the town hall coffers.

The local leaders have added their voice to a growing number of city leaders who want more financial autonomy.

Leaders of England's eight largest city economies outside London called on the Chancellor George Osborne to devolve property taxes in his budget effectively more than doubling local authority shares of national tax revenue from 5% to 12%.

Mayor Boris Johnson has also called for similar powers for London.

The level of taxes controlled at regional level is ten times greater in Canada and seven times as much in Sweden according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development research.

Coun Theobald said: “The UK, and particularly England, has one of the most centralised systems of taxation in the world and there is good evidence from other cities such as New York, Berlin and Tokyo that devolving more of this to the local level stimulates economic growth.

“The one caveat I place on this is that I wouldn't want it to be used by profligate councils as an excuse to penalise successful businesses and individuals through higher rates of taxation.”

Coun Kitcat added as a leading member of the Key Cities group of 23 English mid-sized cities he was lobbying the Government strongly on the issue and believed that the Core Cities proposals should not be limited to just the eight biggest cities.

He added: “English councils are the least powerful in the UK and victim to the whim of Europe's most centralised system of government.

“Time and again we have shown that mid-size cities like Brighton and Hove are able to respond more quickly, adding more new jobs and new companies than bigger cities.”

Labour leader Warren Morgan said: “These are interesting proposals being suggested by the Core Cities Group - we would need to look at the detail of the plans to see if they would also offer benefits to a city the size of Brighton and Hove.”

Comments (20)

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5:43am Wed 26 Mar 14

rogerthefish says...

These people are BONKERS

Councillor Theobald went even further to suggest the council should be allowed to keep all of the vehicle excise duty paid by Brighton and Hove motorists which could add an extra £20 million a year to the town hall coffers....It's like we should have a refund of all the VAT paid on the ice creams on Brighton beach and likewise the people of Newhaven have-hang on I better not go there...............
.......
These people are BONKERS Councillor Theobald went even further to suggest the council should be allowed to keep all of the vehicle excise duty paid by Brighton and Hove motorists which could add an extra £20 million a year to the town hall coffers....It's like we should have a refund of all the VAT paid on the ice creams on Brighton beach and likewise the people of Newhaven have-hang on I better not go there............... ....... rogerthefish
  • Score: 10

6:01am Wed 26 Mar 14

fred clause says...

Councillor's in talking out of there backsides shocker lets keep beating the general public with this big stick to keep our big fat gravy train running well we have news for you we will quite happily vote your sorry rear ends out of a job as soon as we are able.
Councillor's in talking out of there backsides shocker lets keep beating the general public with this big stick to keep our big fat gravy train running well we have news for you we will quite happily vote your sorry rear ends out of a job as soon as we are able. fred clause
  • Score: 15

6:54am Wed 26 Mar 14

Hove Actually says...

would be spent to fund transport ?????????? I thought he was already making £12,000,000 plus each year off motorists that he claims is spent on transport
would be spent to fund transport ?????????? I thought he was already making £12,000,000 plus each year off motorists that he claims is spent on transport Hove Actually
  • Score: 14

7:01am Wed 26 Mar 14

HJarrs says...

Many services are being devolved down to the local level, so it makes sense to look at devolving raising revenue. But B&H is a winner and doing much better than large parts of the country. Care is needed to ensure that less well off areas do not find themselves trapped in poverty as the revenue available may be insufficient to support services.
Many services are being devolved down to the local level, so it makes sense to look at devolving raising revenue. But B&H is a winner and doing much better than large parts of the country. Care is needed to ensure that less well off areas do not find themselves trapped in poverty as the revenue available may be insufficient to support services. HJarrs
  • Score: -23

7:29am Wed 26 Mar 14

dickpagebrighton says...

I welcome at least two of our three main local political parties speaking with one voice on this. How we pay for essential services like children's centres, libraries and adult social care is going to get harder and harder over the next few years, with further massive central government funding cuts on the way.
It also reminds me how centralised, and against local people making decisions, this coalition government really is. That's Councillor Theobald's lot !
if he really wants to encourage the local economy, why did he push for a council tax freeze this year ?
I welcome at least two of our three main local political parties speaking with one voice on this. How we pay for essential services like children's centres, libraries and adult social care is going to get harder and harder over the next few years, with further massive central government funding cuts on the way. It also reminds me how centralised, and against local people making decisions, this coalition government really is. That's Councillor Theobald's lot ! if he really wants to encourage the local economy, why did he push for a council tax freeze this year ? dickpagebrighton
  • Score: -13

7:39am Wed 26 Mar 14

Thay Qon U says...

All of these political, tax-grabbing dreams would have more credibility if BHCC were to be more focused and capable in currently collecting the circa. £20,0000,000 of unpaid historic Council Tax that they already have under their control & responsibility.

BHCC should make better use of their current resources before looking over the fence at what other resources you can nab. Councillors Kitcat, Theobald & Morgan are members of the Policy & RESOURCES Committee so should be aware of this festering £20m arrears issue - perhaps they could be equally viciferous about what they are going to do about collecting these 'available' funds?
All of these political, tax-grabbing dreams would have more credibility if BHCC were to be more focused and capable in currently collecting the circa. £20,0000,000 of unpaid historic Council Tax that they already have under their control & responsibility. BHCC should make better use of their current resources before looking over the fence at what other resources you can nab. Councillors Kitcat, Theobald & Morgan are members of the Policy & RESOURCES Committee so should be aware of this festering £20m arrears issue - perhaps they could be equally viciferous about what they are going to do about collecting these 'available' funds? Thay Qon U
  • Score: 17

8:58am Wed 26 Mar 14

Eugenius says...

Thay Qon U wrote:
All of these political, tax-grabbing dreams would have more credibility if BHCC were to be more focused and capable in currently collecting the circa. £20,0000,000 of unpaid historic Council Tax that they already have under their control & responsibility.

BHCC should make better use of their current resources before looking over the fence at what other resources you can nab. Councillors Kitcat, Theobald & Morgan are members of the Policy & RESOURCES Committee so should be aware of this festering £20m arrears issue - perhaps they could be equally viciferous about what they are going to do about collecting these 'available' funds?
This is not as significant as you think. Unless everyone pays upfront by direct debit (which will never happen because not everyone has a steady income) there is always going to be a lag on collection. £20m isn't terrible for a city our size - Croydon are operating with council tax arrears of £40m and Liverpool £108m.
[quote][p][bold]Thay Qon U[/bold] wrote: All of these political, tax-grabbing dreams would have more credibility if BHCC were to be more focused and capable in currently collecting the circa. £20,0000,000 of unpaid historic Council Tax that they already have under their control & responsibility. BHCC should make better use of their current resources before looking over the fence at what other resources you can nab. Councillors Kitcat, Theobald & Morgan are members of the Policy & RESOURCES Committee so should be aware of this festering £20m arrears issue - perhaps they could be equally viciferous about what they are going to do about collecting these 'available' funds?[/p][/quote]This is not as significant as you think. Unless everyone pays upfront by direct debit (which will never happen because not everyone has a steady income) there is always going to be a lag on collection. £20m isn't terrible for a city our size - Croydon are operating with council tax arrears of £40m and Liverpool £108m. Eugenius
  • Score: -11

9:38am Wed 26 Mar 14

Morpheus says...

Taxation does not make a city "self sustaining". These politicians cannot stop themselves wanting more and more of our money for their crazy schemes. We see here that there really is very little difference between the Greens and the Tories in Brighton, which goes a long way to explain the mess the Brighton is in.
Taxation does not make a city "self sustaining". These politicians cannot stop themselves wanting more and more of our money for their crazy schemes. We see here that there really is very little difference between the Greens and the Tories in Brighton, which goes a long way to explain the mess the Brighton is in. Morpheus
  • Score: 9

9:41am Wed 26 Mar 14

pachallis says...

HJarrs wrote:
Many services are being devolved down to the local level, so it makes sense to look at devolving raising revenue. But B&H is a winner and doing much better than large parts of the country. Care is needed to ensure that less well off areas do not find themselves trapped in poverty as the revenue available may be insufficient to support services.
@HJarrs- might be okay if the council were to use the money for these poor people trapped in poverty and providing basic services to the residents rather than supporting vanity projects.

My major concern, though, is that 'poverty' is not defined as those being unable to get the basic requirements of life - food, water, sanitation, clothing, housing,etc., but rather based on a mathematical calculation such as income of less than 60% of the median in the UK.

Problem with this is that if the median household, for instance, has broadband internet, a large flat screen HD and Sky Movies, then anyone getting less than 60%of this is defined as living in 'poverty'. As such if you don't have broadband and Sky Movies you may be defined as living in poverty - to me utter madness!

Similarly in Ireland when they went through the recession and higher incomes dropped significantly whilst lower incomes stayed the same, the median salary dropped and so proportion of those living in poverty actually dropped.

This is, AFAIK, the same calculation used in determined the 'living wage' that the greens are so proud of and has probably resulted in even more council expenditure.

So please stop playing the green 'care and poverty' card every time the green councils wants more money and instead get them to sort out waste and inefficiency, collect the unpaid council tax, and stop spending on ideological, ineffective, badly implemented vanity projects instead.
[quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: Many services are being devolved down to the local level, so it makes sense to look at devolving raising revenue. But B&H is a winner and doing much better than large parts of the country. Care is needed to ensure that less well off areas do not find themselves trapped in poverty as the revenue available may be insufficient to support services.[/p][/quote]@HJarrs- might be okay if the council were to use the money for these poor people trapped in poverty and providing basic services to the residents rather than supporting vanity projects. My major concern, though, is that 'poverty' is not defined as those being unable to get the basic requirements of life - food, water, sanitation, clothing, housing,etc., but rather based on a mathematical calculation such as income of less than 60% of the median in the UK. Problem with this is that if the median household, for instance, has broadband internet, a large flat screen HD and Sky Movies, then anyone getting less than 60%of this is defined as living in 'poverty'. As such if you don't have broadband and Sky Movies you may be defined as living in poverty - to me utter madness! Similarly in Ireland when they went through the recession and higher incomes dropped significantly whilst lower incomes stayed the same, the median salary dropped and so proportion of those living in poverty actually dropped. This is, AFAIK, the same calculation used in determined the 'living wage' that the greens are so proud of and has probably resulted in even more council expenditure. So please stop playing the green 'care and poverty' card every time the green councils wants more money and instead get them to sort out waste and inefficiency, collect the unpaid council tax, and stop spending on ideological, ineffective, badly implemented vanity projects instead. pachallis
  • Score: 11

9:41am Wed 26 Mar 14

Martha Gunn says...

It could make sense.

But not until we have expelled the Green Party from any influence in our city.

The Greens are neither responsible nor prudent and can't be trusted with our money.
It could make sense. But not until we have expelled the Green Party from any influence in our city. The Greens are neither responsible nor prudent and can't be trusted with our money. Martha Gunn
  • Score: 12

9:42am Wed 26 Mar 14

Thay Qon U says...

Eugenius wrote:
Thay Qon U wrote:
All of these political, tax-grabbing dreams would have more credibility if BHCC were to be more focused and capable in currently collecting the circa. £20,0000,000 of unpaid historic Council Tax that they already have under their control & responsibility.

BHCC should make better use of their current resources before looking over the fence at what other resources you can nab. Councillors Kitcat, Theobald & Morgan are members of the Policy & RESOURCES Committee so should be aware of this festering £20m arrears issue - perhaps they could be equally viciferous about what they are going to do about collecting these 'available' funds?
This is not as significant as you think. Unless everyone pays upfront by direct debit (which will never happen because not everyone has a steady income) there is always going to be a lag on collection. £20m isn't terrible for a city our size - Croydon are operating with council tax arrears of £40m and Liverpool £108m.
LB Harrow with a similar Council Tax Net Debit to BHCC (£111m vs £114m) has Council Tax arrears of some £8m and Peterborough City Council (one of the other 'Key Citiy Group memvers) with a similar Deprivation Index has Council Tax arrears below £8m, so I do think that the BHCC arrears are significant.
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thay Qon U[/bold] wrote: All of these political, tax-grabbing dreams would have more credibility if BHCC were to be more focused and capable in currently collecting the circa. £20,0000,000 of unpaid historic Council Tax that they already have under their control & responsibility. BHCC should make better use of their current resources before looking over the fence at what other resources you can nab. Councillors Kitcat, Theobald & Morgan are members of the Policy & RESOURCES Committee so should be aware of this festering £20m arrears issue - perhaps they could be equally viciferous about what they are going to do about collecting these 'available' funds?[/p][/quote]This is not as significant as you think. Unless everyone pays upfront by direct debit (which will never happen because not everyone has a steady income) there is always going to be a lag on collection. £20m isn't terrible for a city our size - Croydon are operating with council tax arrears of £40m and Liverpool £108m.[/p][/quote]LB Harrow with a similar Council Tax Net Debit to BHCC (£111m vs £114m) has Council Tax arrears of some £8m and Peterborough City Council (one of the other 'Key Citiy Group memvers) with a similar Deprivation Index has Council Tax arrears below £8m, so I do think that the BHCC arrears are significant. Thay Qon U
  • Score: 7

9:49am Wed 26 Mar 14

pachallis says...

Hove Actually wrote:
would be spent to fund transport ?????????? I thought he was already making £12,000,000 plus each year off motorists that he claims is spent on transport
@Hove Actually - it would be interesting to see where this money goes to subsidizing the various bus companies?

Many of the bus services get financial support from the council (over and above getting dedicated roads and bus lanes). They seem to spend most of the day, as far as I can see, running either empty or filled up with grey-backs using their free bus passes going on day-trips to Eastbourne.
[quote][p][bold]Hove Actually[/bold] wrote: would be spent to fund transport ?????????? I thought he was already making £12,000,000 plus each year off motorists that he claims is spent on transport[/p][/quote]@Hove Actually - it would be interesting to see where this money goes to subsidizing the various bus companies? Many of the bus services get financial support from the council (over and above getting dedicated roads and bus lanes). They seem to spend most of the day, as far as I can see, running either empty or filled up with grey-backs using their free bus passes going on day-trips to Eastbourne. pachallis
  • Score: 8

10:01am Wed 26 Mar 14

Richada says...

Two vainglorious councillors trying to snatch as much cash as possible.

The majority of us don't trust these empire builders with what we already pay them in council tax.

If Cllr Theobald is representative of the rest of the local Conservatives, then it would appear that they have lost the plot altogether and that the i360 was not an isolated case.

I guess the idea to take the road fund revenue is a good one - it would see some giving up their cars on principal. Maybe they'd like the TV license fund too - from all of us receiving broadcasts from the Race Hill transmitter.
Two vainglorious councillors trying to snatch as much cash as possible. The majority of us don't trust these empire builders with what we already pay them in council tax. If Cllr Theobald is representative of the rest of the local Conservatives, then it would appear that they have lost the plot altogether and that the i360 was not an isolated case. I guess the idea to take the road fund revenue is a good one - it would see some giving up their cars on principal. Maybe they'd like the TV license fund too - from all of us receiving broadcasts from the Race Hill transmitter. Richada
  • Score: 6

12:48pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Bugzy84 says...

The entire cities waste & refuse problem could be solved simply by installing the Envac system that cities in the Netherlands have been using for years, maybe a good use for all this extra money.
Results would be cleaner streets, less refuse trucks on the roads, would never see overflowing litter bins, pests like rats and birds would be reduced and it would be a cheaper system to operate.
The construction might cause a bit of havoc but the long term benefits are worth it.
The entire cities waste & refuse problem could be solved simply by installing the Envac system that cities in the Netherlands have been using for years, maybe a good use for all this extra money. Results would be cleaner streets, less refuse trucks on the roads, would never see overflowing litter bins, pests like rats and birds would be reduced and it would be a cheaper system to operate. The construction might cause a bit of havoc but the long term benefits are worth it. Bugzy84
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Bugzy84 says...

Check out the link and see for yourself.

http://www.envacgrou
p.com/areas_of_appli
cation
Check out the link and see for yourself. http://www.envacgrou p.com/areas_of_appli cation Bugzy84
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Wed 26 Mar 14

roystony says...

The greens are unbelievable. The majority of the public want to be green, but the way the green party have implemented their polices is absolutely shocking!! They have lost any creditability they had before they were stupidly voted in, and I think it would take them over a decade to regain any of it back.

Why are they trying to squeeze every last penny from the general public when they just spend it on major projects which are only enjoyed by a very small group of people.
The greens are unbelievable. The majority of the public want to be green, but the way the green party have implemented their polices is absolutely shocking!! They have lost any creditability they had before they were stupidly voted in, and I think it would take them over a decade to regain any of it back. Why are they trying to squeeze every last penny from the general public when they just spend it on major projects which are only enjoyed by a very small group of people. roystony
  • Score: 10

2:45pm Wed 26 Mar 14

pachallis says...

Eugenius wrote:
Thay Qon U wrote:
All of these political, tax-grabbing dreams would have more credibility if BHCC were to be more focused and capable in currently collecting the circa. £20,0000,000 of unpaid historic Council Tax that they already have under their control & responsibility.

BHCC should make better use of their current resources before looking over the fence at what other resources you can nab. Councillors Kitcat, Theobald & Morgan are members of the Policy & RESOURCES Committee so should be aware of this festering £20m arrears issue - perhaps they could be equally viciferous about what they are going to do about collecting these 'available' funds?
This is not as significant as you think. Unless everyone pays upfront by direct debit (which will never happen because not everyone has a steady income) there is always going to be a lag on collection. £20m isn't terrible for a city our size - Croydon are operating with council tax arrears of £40m and Liverpool £108m.
@Eugenius - so the £20m only comes from those without steady income who don't have bank accounts and therefore can't have direct debits to spread the council tax over 12 monthly payments?

What utter rubbish - I wager most of those who choose not to pay assume they can get away with it as the council doesn't seem to bother to try to collect the unpaid council tax.

How do you know they don't pay because they can't have direct debits?

If they actually chased non-payers and threatened them with bailiffs to get payment there might be a big change.

Perhaps if they charged extra, like telecoms and utility companies, for not paying by direct debit then this might help as well.
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thay Qon U[/bold] wrote: All of these political, tax-grabbing dreams would have more credibility if BHCC were to be more focused and capable in currently collecting the circa. £20,0000,000 of unpaid historic Council Tax that they already have under their control & responsibility. BHCC should make better use of their current resources before looking over the fence at what other resources you can nab. Councillors Kitcat, Theobald & Morgan are members of the Policy & RESOURCES Committee so should be aware of this festering £20m arrears issue - perhaps they could be equally viciferous about what they are going to do about collecting these 'available' funds?[/p][/quote]This is not as significant as you think. Unless everyone pays upfront by direct debit (which will never happen because not everyone has a steady income) there is always going to be a lag on collection. £20m isn't terrible for a city our size - Croydon are operating with council tax arrears of £40m and Liverpool £108m.[/p][/quote]@Eugenius - so the £20m only comes from those without steady income who don't have bank accounts and therefore can't have direct debits to spread the council tax over 12 monthly payments? What utter rubbish - I wager most of those who choose not to pay assume they can get away with it as the council doesn't seem to bother to try to collect the unpaid council tax. How do you know they don't pay because they can't have direct debits? If they actually chased non-payers and threatened them with bailiffs to get payment there might be a big change. Perhaps if they charged extra, like telecoms and utility companies, for not paying by direct debit then this might help as well. pachallis
  • Score: 3

2:52pm Wed 26 Mar 14

pachallis says...

Bugzy84 wrote:
The entire cities waste & refuse problem could be solved simply by installing the Envac system that cities in the Netherlands have been using for years, maybe a good use for all this extra money.
Results would be cleaner streets, less refuse trucks on the roads, would never see overflowing litter bins, pests like rats and birds would be reduced and it would be a cheaper system to operate.
The construction might cause a bit of havoc but the long term benefits are worth it.
@Bugzy84 - looks a great idea - and I see it is being used in the UK by Wembley City.

However, I imagine that the unions would be 'up in arms' about the loss of jobs if such a system was introduced, and we know that the GMB actually runs refuse collection in Brighton & Hove on behalf of the council.
[quote][p][bold]Bugzy84[/bold] wrote: The entire cities waste & refuse problem could be solved simply by installing the Envac system that cities in the Netherlands have been using for years, maybe a good use for all this extra money. Results would be cleaner streets, less refuse trucks on the roads, would never see overflowing litter bins, pests like rats and birds would be reduced and it would be a cheaper system to operate. The construction might cause a bit of havoc but the long term benefits are worth it.[/p][/quote]@Bugzy84 - looks a great idea - and I see it is being used in the UK by Wembley City. However, I imagine that the unions would be 'up in arms' about the loss of jobs if such a system was introduced, and we know that the GMB actually runs refuse collection in Brighton & Hove on behalf of the council. pachallis
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Richada says...

roystony wrote:
The greens are unbelievable. The majority of the public want to be green, but the way the green party have implemented their polices is absolutely shocking!! They have lost any creditability they had before they were stupidly voted in, and I think it would take them over a decade to regain any of it back.

Why are they trying to squeeze every last penny from the general public when they just spend it on major projects which are only enjoyed by a very small group of people.
Couldn't agree more - just hope the electorate share our opinion next year.
[quote][p][bold]roystony[/bold] wrote: The greens are unbelievable. The majority of the public want to be green, but the way the green party have implemented their polices is absolutely shocking!! They have lost any creditability they had before they were stupidly voted in, and I think it would take them over a decade to regain any of it back. Why are they trying to squeeze every last penny from the general public when they just spend it on major projects which are only enjoyed by a very small group of people.[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more - just hope the electorate share our opinion next year. Richada
  • Score: 2

8:47pm Wed 26 Mar 14

bbbazcooper says...

HJarrs wrote:
Many services are being devolved down to the local level, so it makes sense to look at devolving raising revenue. But B&H is a winner and doing much better than large parts of the country. Care is needed to ensure that less well off areas do not find themselves trapped in poverty as the revenue available may be insufficient to support services.
Devolving only makes sense if those being devolved to act responsibly.

Lefties have an overwhelming desire to shake the never ending money tree they believe exists - normal people understand this just means screwing more taxation out of us in one form or another - so they can carry on with their social experiments.

Personally I wouldn't trust the Greens with a penny more, and it's worrying that the Conservatives seem to follow a similar course.

It may be a different matter if the council had some people with decent business experience behind them instead of being mainly a bunch of political wannabees and people who think its all a lark.
[quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: Many services are being devolved down to the local level, so it makes sense to look at devolving raising revenue. But B&H is a winner and doing much better than large parts of the country. Care is needed to ensure that less well off areas do not find themselves trapped in poverty as the revenue available may be insufficient to support services.[/p][/quote]Devolving only makes sense if those being devolved to act responsibly. Lefties have an overwhelming desire to shake the never ending money tree they believe exists - normal people understand this just means screwing more taxation out of us in one form or another - so they can carry on with their social experiments. Personally I wouldn't trust the Greens with a penny more, and it's worrying that the Conservatives seem to follow a similar course. It may be a different matter if the council had some people with decent business experience behind them instead of being mainly a bunch of political wannabees and people who think its all a lark. bbbazcooper
  • Score: 3

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