Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Council Tax in Shepherd's Bush Frozen For Another Year

Our Labour Council recently issued a press release stating that they intend to freeze our local Council Tax at current levels this financial year.

This is surely good news for local taxpayers, though the move was criticised by the Conservative opposition, who argue that by holding Council Tax at current levels, LBH&F have "broken their election promise to cut council tax".

George Osbourne. Wikimedia
The Tories also criticise the Labour Cabinet for "unanimously voting themselves a whopping 27% pay increase".

But are Conservatives in a position to take the moral high ground here? After all, George Osbourne has now raised Stamp Duty to dizzying levels (12.5% over £1.5m), so that anyone wanting to move house now has to hand over tens of thousands of pounds to central government when they buy a new home.

With the average price of a property in Shepherd's Bush now around £700,000, you'd have to pay a whopping £25,000 in Stamp Duty, just for the right to buy a new place to live. That's serious money.

Our Government has also greatly increased taxes on buy-to-let landlords, making even loss-making landlords pay taxes - the first time in the history of our country that anyone has had to pay tax on profits they haven't made.

The Tories have raised taxes in other ways, too. If you make over £50k a year, you can't claim child benefit anymore (in effect, a tax increase).  The tax benefits for saving into a pension are also being phased out, or substantially reduced.  Taxes on dividends are also going up.  The Government have also proposed to make self-employed people file tax returns four times a year which, while not a tax increase persay, will act like one - in that it will greatly increase the cost of doing business.

So, while we might criticise Labour for not keeping their promise to cut taxes, most local taxpayers will probably be grateful that at least they haven't increased them.

The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at

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