Dear Sir,

You may remember that we wrote to you recently pointing out that the ‘Council Tax’ we pay is not really a ‘council’ tax at all, but mainly a government ‘stealth tax’ which funds the police, fire service, adult social care, and other government-required services. It is just called ‘Council Tax’, and the County Council are required to collect it, to make sure that the opprobrium is directed at the Council, not the government.

We are writing again because an example of this occurred recently, when the newspapers reported that Dominic Cummings had had up to £50,000 in back-owed Council Tax ‘written off’. Many of the furious responses from the public blamed the County Council for this.

However, the County Council does NOT set the valuation for council tax banding, nor the date from when charges apply. These decisions were made by the Valuation Office Agency, which is part of HM Revenues and Customs, ie: by the government. The County Council has no discretion in this and was required to implement the amendments to the valuation list as notified by the Valuation Office.

So, (yet again), it is the GOVERNMENT which is responsible for Cummings’s exemption, not the Labour-controlled County Council.

Sedgefield CLP Campaigns Team.