It’s important to know the facts about why CT rises year-on-year and why I expect it will rise by another 5% next year.
Implemented in 2010 as part of George Osborne’s austerity drive, the Tories cut the annual Central Government grant that each council receives by 50%, sometimes 60% (they target councils) meaning councils have to find tens of millions of pounds each year from other sources, just to keep services going.
Generally speaking, the only means available to councils to generate income are council tax/business rates, planning permissions and private enterprise. So, you’ll find your local council hiking council tax and rates each year, passing planning applications that they might not otherwise and spending public money on outside investments. A regular income is required to keep public services afloat.
Some councils now only provide statutory services (the services they have to provide by law), they’re not able to provide anything else. Council services are things like waste & recycling (which could be black bins, blue bins, whatever bins, assisted collections, commercial waste, bulk collections), environment services (street cleaning, bins, trees, leaves, shrubs, graffiti, litter, fly-tipping, noise complaints, smoke/air pollution), traffic and travel services (blue badges, h-bars, disabled parking bays, traffic management, traffic lights etc.), highways services (potholes, kerb damage, flooding, rubbish, lights and lamps), licensing (business licences, taxis, food/take-away), rebates and benefits (CT itself, Covid grants, cost-of-living grants), planning services (highways, private), schools (a minefield), housing and regulations, registrars (births, deaths, marriages), adult social care (massive expense), children’s social care (even more massive expense), democratic services (elections etc.), foster kids, community services (parks, gardens, fields), public health (enormous in the last 2-3 years), I could go on.
There’s a lot to pay for. Some councils do it better than others but, all are stretched. Cleverest thing the Tories ever did cutting that grant, served to turn everyone onto their council rather than who was actually making the cuts – THEM.
None of us like it but, this is the UK in 2022 thanks to 12 years of public service cuts. And when you move to Australia, not all of that will be covered in your 'rates', some of it you will have to cover separately e.g. schools. Just thought I'd chip in 😄
Here's how to pay once approved
The first time I paid, you could do it by cheque, and I wrote on the back of the cheque which years I wanted the payments allocated to (after having first spoken to the Future Pensions centre to find out which years were worth paying).
The second time, cheques weren't allowed so I paid for a single year using the above link, and it was allocated randomly to an empty year which didn't produce an uplift to my final amount, so I then had to phone to request that it be reallocated to the correct year. It was a bit of a faff but easy to fix.