Gransnet forums

News & politics

Council Tax - why do seniors have to pay the full amount?

(157 Posts)
Spot Thu 20-Oct-16 14:46:20

I think the policy of allowing a 50% reduction in Council Tax for disabled people, even if they work full time, yet allowing no reduction for people in receipt of State Retirement Pension is appalling.

What do you think?

Smileless2012 Thu 20-Oct-16 14:51:46

IMO any reductions should be means tested. Let's face it, there are some well off pensioners out there receiving the 'winter fuel allowance' and surely it's better for those who need the financial help to get more which would be possible if those with more income, don't get any.

I'm going to hide now in case anyone shouts at megrin.

gillybob Thu 20-Oct-16 15:23:06

sorry Spot but I think like all other benefits should be means tested. One of my (pensioner) uncles is a millionaire as is his wife, in her own right. They married (hastily I might add) after the death of my beloved auntie. Why should they receive any benefits whatsoever, let along 50% reduction in council tax? confused

I won't shout at you smileless2012 I totally agree with you.

daphnedill Thu 20-Oct-16 15:47:27

I've just checked my council's website. The disabled don't receive any discount at all, unless there is some other qualifying entitlement. I'm not sure what you mean, Spot. Some discounts are discretionary.

daphnedill Thu 20-Oct-16 15:49:27

PS. State pensioners with low incomes do receive a discount. If they have a low income and receive Local Council Tax Support, they don't have to pay anything, whereas working age people with the same income have to pay a minimum of 12.5%.

M0nica Thu 20-Oct-16 19:22:07

I see no reason why I, with a good private pension and state pension, living with a husband in a similar position should get any kind of discount on anything, merely because we have been around a long time. We use and benefit from council services just as much as our young neighbours.

Older people on small incomes qualify for both Housing Benefit and Council tax benefit. If in receipt of a disability pension they that entitlement increases.

Wobblybits Thu 20-Oct-16 19:32:05

Agree Monica, like you we get state pension plus our private pension and as well off as some that are working.

Luckygirl Thu 20-Oct-16 19:39:43

There is a reduction if you live alone.

Means testing sounds a great idea but it costs money in staff, paperwork, admin etc. That is why child benefit is not means tested - it costs less that way.

Nelliemoser Thu 20-Oct-16 19:55:50

I find this a bit of an anomally. Those people registered blind automatically get a disabled parking badge whether or not their physical mobilty is affected.

This sounds wrong to me. If you go somewhere in a car and you are blind you obviously should have a driver and persumably that driver could act as your guide.

Many people who have been blind for most of their lives tend to have very good mobility just using their guide dogs or long canes. I await flak now.

Wobblybits Thu 20-Oct-16 20:05:32

It annoys me that I cannot get a blue badge. I cannot walk further than 50 yards even with two sticks, and atm there is no prospect of improvement until it gets worse. But it is considered a temporary condition, even if it goes on for a years or more, and does not qualify. Yet I see sports cars in disabled bays that I could never get in or out of, last month there was a Lamborghini in a disabled bay with a badge !

Jalima Thu 20-Oct-16 20:05:55

I think getting a discount if there is only one householder is fine; otherwise no.

Deedaa Thu 20-Oct-16 20:09:28

I don't think my MIL who was getting Pension Credit paid any Council Tax.

I think quite a few of us still have more disposable income than younger families.

Charleygirl Thu 20-Oct-16 20:10:48

I tend to agree with you Nellie. I have a blue badge because I can walk about 100 yards.I have joint problems but frequently I see a blind person sitting in a car parked in a disabled bay and the carer nipping around the supermarket.

My driving days are limited because of my sight problems but I would only keep my badge to allow somebody to drive me to an OPD appointment, especially where parking is dire and I had problems walking.

SueDonim Thu 20-Oct-16 20:33:11

I don't see a case for wealthier pensioners getting a CT discount. Why should they? And I say that as a retired couple who have to pay stonking CT rates!

I also don't see why someone with a Blue Badge shouldn't have a nice car. Not all disabilities are visible or even physical. I know someone with a BB because her older son is severely autistic and it takes an incredible amount of effort to get him into and out if there car, plus he has no awareness of danger from traffic. She doesn't have a Lamborghini but I wouldn't grudge her one if she did.

A BB for someone sight-impaired is useful for avoiding difficult areas of walking especially at night. The state of some of our pavements are bad enough even with all of one'S faculties. Though I believe BB should not be used if the holder isn't the one accessing the families such as shops.

Wobblybits Thu 20-Oct-16 21:25:04

Sue, it wasn't the nice car that annoys me (although I was green with envy for the Lamborghini) It's the fact that I am disabled enough not to be able to get in/out of such a low car and yet can't qualify for a blue badge.
I see so many abuses of the blue badge system, people who are probably not the disabled person, using them to park in disabled places.

SueDonim Thu 20-Oct-16 21:33:33

That's down to the local area not policing the BB parking properly, though.

I'm surprised you can't get a BB. I applied for one for my 88yo mum when the council made parking near shops so difficult I couldn't get her close enough that she could walk. She has osteoarthritis and isn't very mobile at all. It wa sgranted and came v quickly. Maybe try again? They can be granted temporarily, at least in Scotland.

She gets her wheelie bin uplifted too, as she can't manage to get it to the pavement. Every year the council phones to ask if she still needs it picked up for the same reason and every years she tells them she's a year older than when they asked her the same question last year. grin

Wobblybits Thu 20-Oct-16 21:51:36

According to the council web site the disability has to be permanent, they do not issue temporary BB's. I'm not sure how you determine permanent, if I have to wait until the joint gets to the severe stage that could be a long while as I am not able to walk on it, so why should it suddenly get worse.
MY only hope is that the Physio says they cannot improve the situation and my doctor tries to get me accepted for replacement or the condition becomes classed as permanent (it's replacement I want).
Even if the physio/Dr refer me, it is likely that I will not be able to walk for another 6 months or more. All very depressing atm.

Wobblybits Thu 20-Oct-16 21:56:03

I've just found a bit oc the CA site that says permanent = 1 year or longer, which has to be confirmed by your GP.

SueDonim Thu 20-Oct-16 22:03:56

I take it you mean replacement joints? My mum had one hip done, which transformed her life! Then she had the knee done but it was harder to get over, (she was older, of course) and hasn't given her that much more mobility. She has decided not to have the other knee done as the cons outweigh the pros at her age.

phoenix Thu 20-Oct-16 22:13:17

Tin helmet time warning!

I know people who are "seniors" with savings in the realm of several thousands, get winter fuel allowance, free tv licence, pay no road tax (mobility car, 4 wheel drive thingy) of course get free prescriptions, dental care etc, in fact they get every benefit going. Currently trying to decide wether to go to Malta for a couple of months, or to visit family in Australia.Oh, and housing association property with all maintenance done for them, at no cost to them.

Working it out, even they admit that they have had more out of the "system" than they have ever put in!

As one of the many women caught between the shifting goal posts of the pension age , I will get nothing until I'm 66! So not only do I have another 8 years of working, but another 8 years of dental charges, prescription fees etc etc

So, sorry, I don't think that being a "senior" should be an automatic entitlement to anything.

There you have it, tin helmet on, chin strap fastened and now safely ensconced behind the sofa.

Ana Thu 20-Oct-16 22:22:31

I thought some things became free at 60, never mind what your retirement age might be. Prescription and eye tests certainly are.

As for dental charges, you're very lucky if you can find an NHS practice where I live, so what I save on the above I lose on the Denplan payments!

annsixty Thu 20-Oct-16 22:30:19

I could claim a 25% reduction on our CT because my H has a diagnosis of dementia. I don't claim it as our income is the same whether he has it or not, it didn't seem fair to me to claim.

daphnedill Thu 20-Oct-16 22:46:59

Very little is free when you turn 60 these days. As far as I know:

Eye tests (but not glasses)
Senior Railcard costs £30, which then gives reduction on many fares
Old rules still apply regarding Working Tax Credit to anybody in an area where Universal Credit hasn't been introduced. Once a claimant turns 60, WTC can be claimed if working 16 hours (30 for working age people). This is all changing.

On the other hand, 60 year olds can't claim loans for any kind of course. angry

If anybody knows of anything else, let us all know (especially those of us waiting another six/seven years for our state pension :-()

daphnedill Thu 20-Oct-16 22:48:31


Do you have a spare tin helmet?

phoenix Thu 20-Oct-16 22:56:28

daphnedill grin of course, m'dear, help yourself!

There are also flack jackets, just look in the cupboard under the stairs, on the rack to the right, various sizes, but sadly not a lot of choice when it comes to colours.