Itemised Council Tax statements could be on the way

The Conservatives.

Council Tax bills could be itemised in South Gloucestershire as part of fresh efforts to show taxpayers where their money goes, say local Conservatives.

This year South Gloucestershire Council charged the average Band D household £1,227 in Council Tax.

The authority had already been one of the first councils in the country to publish payments over £500 – and now Conservative councillors are leading efforts for Council Tax bills to be made more transparent.

At a Full Council meeting tonight (17th October 2012), a majority of councillors approved plans that could lead to itemised statements being sent out along with Council Tax bills that breaks down how residents’ money is spent by the authority.

But Lib Dem councillors were split on the issue with some councillors either opposing the initiative or abstaining when it came to the main vote.

Rodway Conservative councillor Kevin Seager, who proposed the initiative on behalf of the Conservative Group, said:

“When times are as tough as they are at the moment, it’s never been more important to demonstrate to council taxpayers where exactly their hardened money is going and what it’s being spent on.”

“Great strides have been made by the council in more recent years to shine a light on where public money is spent, including being one of the first councils in the country to publish every payment over £500.”

“If Her Majesty’s Treasury is saying that it can provide a statement to each taxpayer showing how the national taxes that they have paid have contributed to public spending, then we should be looking to produce a local version.”

“It’s that sort of itemised breakdown which should provide confidence to local ratepayers that their money is continuing to be spent wisely and so it’s disappointing to see so many Lib Dem councillors failing to back this idea.”

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council