LETTER: System needs radical change

Your letters
Your letters

The Prime Minister, in her initial address to the nation, stated that she was working for the ‘man in the street’, who is employed/self-employed and the backbone of our nation, and indirectly the ‘wealth creators’.

This person, however, is being let down by the system. Instead of procedures being put in place to help them, they seem to hinder them, with more and more bureaucracy getting in the way of achievements (with its associated costs).

This of course makes these people disillusioned and, in some cases, can give rise to extreme hardship, and is grossly unfair on these people, making it more and more impossible to ‘make ends meet’, making people exasperated and battling frustration at every turn.

This ‘situation’ is especially relevant with regard to the current system of Council Tax. For an example using Horsham Band ‘D’ as a guide, council tax was £477 for 1993-94. Last year, it was £1,544. This is a 223.69 per cent increase, in no relation to the cost of inflation, which averaged 2.8 per cent per year, which makes the figure if in line with inflation more along the lines of £891.70.

The system needs a radical overhaul, with the handling of the various tiers of local government needing urgent review. In my opinion, one or more of the ‘tiers’ of local government needs removing, i.e the District Council to be amalgamated with the County Council, with the end result of the County Council talking directly to the Parish Councils, streamlining the entire system.

You could also change the current ‘system’ so that Education and Social Services were the responsibility of the government, paid via income tax, and let local government charge for the services that they provided. This would require the councils to charge everyone who pays HMRC to pay their fair share, not just single and couple households.

After all, we all use the services the councils provide, creating a fairer system than we have now, greatly reducing the precept to be paid.

The current system itself is so unfair on so many people, with committee after committee needing to sit and discuss matters (Planning Applications being just one example of this...), with the hard working individual losing out, by having to pay for all these meetings via his Council Tax.

Tax legislation also needs reform, where applicable to larger companies. A great deal of firms waste money on promotions and other frivolous activities, just to cut down their tax bill.

Is this right? Does it need overhauling? Large firms would rather pay a large accountancy bill than a large tax one. Is this right? This all works against the people that Mrs May claims to support.

In conclusion, Council Tax is one of your largest household bills, and is a real hardship to those just managing to make ends meet. Applying for any kind of assistance to offset it is really stress-provoking, and time-consuming with little hope of any reward.

Also, people are going without essentials to pay it; stories include a man turning off his heating to pay the tax bill, and numerous young working families still struggling. This should not be the case in this day and age, and how is this helping ‘the man in the street’?

Your comments on my suggestion and the situation would be much appreciated.

Derrick Frost

Fir Tree Lane, West Chiltington

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