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Pensioner Council Tax Discount Could Be Scrapped

Tuesday January 7 2014

THE future of a council tax discount for pensioners is to be considered by Barnsley Council because the cost of the scheme is likely to 'put more pressure on limited financial resources'.

The council has approved the pensioner discount every year since 2009/10 after recognising the difficulties elderly residents face in meeting annual council tax rises.

The discount is not means tested and all claimants receive a flat rate, banded discount so they pay the same amount of council tax as it would have been in 2008/9.

A council report says there's a significant take up with 10,300 households claiming a total discount of £490,000.

It means, on average, each qualifying household receives an annual discount of about £47, although those in higher banded properties receive considerably more.

However, the council says it's under increasing financial pressure to deliver services while making millions of pounds of efficiency savings to meet budget targets in the coming years.

The report says recent take up and data suggests if the scheme continues unchanged, discount claims will continue to increase, rising to more than 10,750 claimants by 2016/17.

That would see the cost of the scheme increase 'considerably' according to the report, costing the council about £602,000, rising to about £826,000 in 2015/16 and £1,060,000 in 2016/17.

The report states: "The discount is not means tested and there is no evidence to suggest that retaining or removing it would have any significant detrimental impact on pensioners currently claiming the scheme.

"This report shows that, without further check, the cost of the scheme will continue to rise, putting more pressure on the council's already limited financial resources.

"Members therefore need to consider if the council can continue to financially support a non-statutory pensioner discount scheme in this current climate."

Several options have been outlined for the pensioner discount scheme including removing the pensioner discount immediately, having a phased removal over a number of years, extending the scheme or restricting it to certain council tax property bands.

The report says: "The options are put forward for consideration. It is recommended however that approval be given to phasing out the council tax pensioner discount scheme over a five-year period from 2014/15."

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Reply Posted by Annette on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 13:06
It should be means tested like other benefits - not all pensioners live on the breadline and many people live on the breadline but don't get benefits

Reply Posted by pensioner on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 13:17
I am one of those pensioners who dont live on the bread line, the reason is both my wife and I have worked all our lives saved when we could buy only when we could afford. Now if we ask for help the answer is you have too much, If we had spent it on booze,fags and the like we would then have some help. What a sh*t system we have to live by

Reply Posted by Annette on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 14:11
My father is an upstanding citizen just like yourself and your good wife, he would cut a fart in two if he could to save money, worked all his life whilst being severely disabled since his mid twenties, to call him tight is an understatement, and he also saved for his pension and invested wisely so he's fairly well off now, yet he thinks it's very unfair how some benefits (like this one and the cold weather payment) are paid automatically to some people regardless of whether they depend on them or not. He donates his share of his "freebies" (and more besides) to help me and my family who earn £1.80 a week too much to qualify council tax benefit so pay full amount. I am lucky to have a father that's in a position to help me, I would not be able to manage without his help. So many people are less fortunate than I am, and it's often through no fault of their own. Not everyone that lives on the breadline and/or claiming benefits is a scrounger despite what the media would have you believe! Perhaps more people should think charitably about others instead of having the attitude of "I paid into the system so I'm having summat back" even though they don't particularly need it, is there's always someone that does need it but can't get any help.

Reply Posted by Fred on Wednesday January 8 2014 at 20:53
Well said Pensioner.

The government encourage you to provide for yourself then shaft you!

Reply Posted by nev on Sunday January 12 2014 at 16:25
so am I, I'm also struggling because Iv'e worked every day since I was 14yr old,
started work on 90 pence a week equivalent for 50 hr week and left in a state of desperation, I don't receive any benefits, but I have to pay full rent, and
council tax. There may not be a council tax increase but I notice the rent goes up to cover it.

Reply Posted by June on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 13:31
Need not greed should be the rule

Of course it should be means tested

Reply Posted by Big C on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 13:48
Its just another attack on the poor and defenseless people who struggle as it is you pay into pensions they are now taking away from you they want you to work to a age that means you die before you get much of it back and now this and wecant even get bins emptied at christmas as they change the day they come but don't tell anyone bt yet us the people of the country let this happen without any resistance of protest its about time everyone stuck together and stopped things like this bt we don't as the government just pick a few of at a time bt whoever you are it will be your turn soon enough that's unless your rich

Reply Posted by PeteFromPlevna on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 14:09
why was my comment removed......i didn't realise it was a council owned website, bought you off have they?

Reply Posted by Mick on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 14:11
It makes sense to end this universal benefit & use the money on other threatened services. One group of people who this govt has looked after are pensioners. While wages and benefits have been frozen or only up by 1%, pensioners still get £200 fuel allowance, bus pass & a guaranteed rise of at least 2.5% a year.

Even if your pension was only £100 / week (and most are more), adding 2.5% is another £125 / yr and that's been paid in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & will continue. So the case for a council tax discount doesn't stand, especially when that has been frozen since 2010 too.

Reply Posted by Kfc on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 14:50
The pensioners will be queuing up for a lift to the polling stations when the Labour controlled Councillors come begging for votes.

The same Councillors that will be voting the changes and that popped a Christmas Card through you're letter box hypocrites.

You're never too old to learn tell the Councillors where to shove there lifts.

They would take the rust off you knee caps next.

Reply Posted by Ben on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 15:45
I think you're being slightly unfair. This is a result of political football between the Tory controlled government, their liberal lapdogs and Labour councils. Of course they don't want you to vote Labour, so what do they do? Slash budgets until any Labour council has no other alternative.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 18:17
So pensioners that have paid into the system all their working lives (just like my parents) have to bear the brunt of a cost cutting council just because they are financially inept and cant balance their budgets correctly?

Get rid of the consultants that would save at least £500k P.A for starters.

I bet Houghton and his idiotic Labour councillors and MP chums still dine on canapés and vol au vents while people struggle.


Reply Posted by Kfc on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 18:32
I once read a sticker on a car back windscreen that said "Born Free taxed to Death"

Tories Labour and Liberal Deomcrats Shame on you all.

Our senior Citizens deserve respect and protection. They have paid into the systemn all there working lives and this is how you intend to repay them.

Shame on you all.

Reply Posted by anon on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 18:39
After watching the benefits programme last night and seeing how many claimants were smoking and drinking to excess,it makes my blood boil to think our pensioners have paid in all their lives and their contributions are being given to people like this.
Its disgusting, our pensioners are subsidising low life's. Its wrong. Hopefully Cameron and crew will watch the programme and take urgent action. Poor pensioners!

Reply Posted by Barney on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 18:50
I saw that David Cameron pays £90 for a haircut and gave a New Years Honour to his barber! These people live in a totally different world to most of us and couldn't give a stuff about "hard working families", the poor, the sick, the disabled or the elderly. The whole government system of savings and cutbacks is not about "balancing the books" it's about political dogma and real hatred of the working class. Savings made in the next eighteen months will be used as bribes in the form of tax cuts to try to preserve the only jobs Tory MPs care about.. THEIR OWN.

Reply Posted by Green Gas on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 21:39
Most pensioners are doing ok in barnsley. They can cope with the rise. It may even make some of them downsize in housing.
Meanwhile the younger end cannot get jobs due to greedy old people carrying on working when they dont need to.
It has been a golden era for todays pensioners. That will change and in years to come if they carry on raping the system, nobody will get a state pension.

Reply Posted by sid on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 21:42
Words fail me.

Reply Posted by kfc on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 21:52
@greenGas your comments are vile and are beyond any reasonable person.

Reply Posted by sid on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 21:56
To be fair,kfc,I'm hoping its a wind up. Otherwise god help the clown!

Reply Posted by Kfc on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 22:38
Sorry should have read immigrants that decide to come today and leave there. Children at there home countries.

As long as one parent works in the uk and the children are back in there EU state mummy or daddy can claim child benefit from this country and send it home.

Kind Regards

Fact Fact Fact and more bleeding Fact

Reply Posted by sid on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 22:47
@kfc , in a nutshell,your post makes eye watering reading. Especially as its all fact. You know,the politicians are paid to run our country,using tax,s etc paid in by each one of us,and they are making a real old mess of it. They need to sit down together,for the good of our country and rewrite the system regarding expenditure of our money. When I read about the monies being wasted,given away and fiddled away,it enrages me. It must be difficult to please all of the people all of the time,but at the moment,it seems as if they are just pleasing themselves,and sod the folk paying in. I'm sure I could work it better myself?? I'd sure do just as well as them I'm sure.

Reply Posted by sid on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 23:34
Yes @kfc, I had that kind of upbringing too. Things have changed a lot,some for the better by far,some not so good. I can't say much at all about the councillors as I have no knowledge to be fair. I've never had any involvement with them. I do see however that there are a lot of things that need changing in our country and all we can do is sit and listen,but as the voting system stands I can't see how my little
vote can do anything. Mind you,I'm what you could call a floating voter,I don't think any of them are worth my vote, I'm talking general election here. £90 for a mans haircut? They are not on our planet for gods sake, does a pensioner get that per week to live on? Says it all.

Reply Posted by Kfc on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 23:42
£90 for a hair cut if it was not for the Pm using this guy then how would he get any notice.

That's why 2014 politics is a joke.

My wife gives me hell for going on about today's politics. That's why I come on WAB when she's asleep.

I was advised to stand 32 years ago as a Labour Councillor in my area with a guaranteed vote.

I'm glad I did not chose that options. I can sleep at night straight in my bed.

Reply Posted by sid on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 23:55
I agree with you. We all know someone who deserves recognition for the things they do,but my barber isn't one that springs to mind. Makes you laugh.
I think Cameron needs to be told what a twit this makes him look. Fool! Its a comedy you know, of all the people doing important jobs,and a flipping barber gets a gong! You can't believe it really.

Reply Posted by Kfc on Tuesday January 7 2014 at 23:46
To be respectful our Councillors at the time. They served our communities and did there jobs with dignity. They would turn in there graves today.

Reply Posted by mae brussel on Wednesday January 8 2014 at 10:01
Pensioners are not poor feeble rotting pieces of vegetable with hearts of gold like most of these comments are making out,they are people just like the young of this town / country.
They need money like anyone else but not as much as young people starting out in life with no prospects.
Dont forget that most of the debt created in this country besides war, was created by loans of astounding proportions by people wanting to be up on the 5th rung of the social ladder
that was in the 80s. so the pensioners of today were in there 30s / 40 then.
I am all but being a pensioner and i work
but i have no savings i have no debt i am poor by standards and i would be quite happy to give one days holiday wage per year back to the country to help the young get a start in life.
When next christmas comes and your laying out the borrowed money under the tree to buy stupid i phone 5s for your 11 year old ,think how much higher the debt money clock is by then and this clock tells you wether your child is going to have a future

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Saturday January 11 2014 at 16:39
One of, if not the best ever post on WAB Mae.

Reply Posted by sid on Wednesday January 8 2014 at 12:45
I thought Mae brussell and Kilkenny were the same poster?

Reply Posted by Red on Thursday January 9 2014 at 16:06
Disgusting worked all there life's an then have it took off them an them who don't even try an find work gets everything given makes me sick ,let them have the discount they have payed in all there working life's they have a right to it .

Reply Posted by Roger on Friday January 10 2014 at 07:41
Of course these benefits must be means tested. I work with quite a few retired people, who do driving jobs for our company..All of them run a nice car, and take holidays abroad, they have come from the era of good pensions. So lets get away from a stereotype of a little old lady sat by a one bar electric fire...Some need help yes, a lot don't.

Reply Posted by Lisa on Sunday January 12 2014 at 16:53
I think if they stop pensioners then they should also stop 25 percent discount for single people I no people who are on same wages as myself and a bit more n get a discount.yet I pay full council tax for being penalized for my son living at home which is a disgrace.if I can afford to
Pay full n only just then y can't single people pay full that's on the same amount of money.stop penalizing old people who probably av paid there taxes all the lives n start lookin at doing things like people paying based on what they earn not what they,ve got...