Taxing question

York Press: Taxing question Taxing question

WHAT an excellent letter by Matthew Clements about student housing.

My main complaint is that none of these students pay council tax, thereby not only taking housing that our own young people could occupy but also “robbing” the Exchequer of much needed income.

I mean no insult to the students, but the vast majority will go elsewhere when they find work, while our young cannot get a foothold on the property ladder due to the high cost caused by this very issue.

Surely there must be a way that owners of these properties should have to pay council tax on their houses.

We hear so many complaints about fat cat bonuses etc – is this just not another one, in a different disguise?

In 2012/13 the council raised £94.3 million pounds through this tax. Imagine how much more we would have if all these houses were occupied by working people, contributing to the upkeep of the city directly.

How much better our roads would be, our essential services, how much more could be spent on looking after our elderly, our schools.

Judith Morris, Chair, York UKIP, Moorland Road, York.
 

• I WOULD like to thank Matthew Clements for his comment on the city’s future housing provision and his suggestion that universities are responsible for providing accommodation for all their students (Letters, February 15).

At the planning application for the University of York’s expansion, and the public inquiry in 2007, I, on behalf of the Council’s then opposition Labour group, argued that the university should be providing more accommodation on site.

However, this was not accepted by the Government inspector as it was deemed that you could not “tell” adults where to live and that we lived in a market economy where the market will make the choices to provide.

Current Conservative/Lib Dem Government policy is for universities to continue to expand with no requirement to provide accommodation on site. Councils are unable to refuse planning applications to expand academic facilities on the grounds of accommodation not being provided.

However, we do need to recognise that a growing percent of the city’s population are former students who work across a range of sectors providing services in the city and that the city’s four higher education institutions provide thousands of jobs directly and indirectly in our city.

Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, Deputy leader, City of York Council.

Comments (5)

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12:02pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Zetkin says...

Typical UKIP, trying to sow division, this time it's a false divide between "our" young and "students".

Aren't a similar proportion of "our" young students as well? Don't they go to other towns and get ripped off by greedy landlords and abused by local politicians desperate to grab a vote, any vote?

If universities were properly-funded to build sufficient accommodation for their students, and if councils were properly-funded to build sufficient housing for each generation, the rug would pulled from under the buy-to-letters.

I can't see UKIP adopting such a policy for the very good reason that its housing spokesman Andrew Charalambous is a multi-millionaire landlord who has grabbed nearly £750,000 in housing benefit under the current system.

UKIP activists pose as ordinary people challenging the status quo, but the reality is that it's a party of the rich, no different to the Tories.

And no, that's not to let Labour off the hook; their role in creating the housing crisis has been despicable also,
Typical UKIP, trying to sow division, this time it's a false divide between "our" young and "students". Aren't a similar proportion of "our" young students as well? Don't they go to other towns and get ripped off by greedy landlords and abused by local politicians desperate to grab a vote, any vote? If universities were properly-funded to build sufficient accommodation for their students, and if councils were properly-funded to build sufficient housing for each generation, the rug would pulled from under the buy-to-letters. I can't see UKIP adopting such a policy for the very good reason that its housing spokesman Andrew Charalambous is a multi-millionaire landlord who has grabbed nearly £750,000 in housing benefit under the current system. UKIP activists pose as ordinary people challenging the status quo, but the reality is that it's a party of the rich, no different to the Tories. And no, that's not to let Labour off the hook; their role in creating the housing crisis has been despicable also, Zetkin
  • Score: 11

2:07pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Badgers Drift says...

Judith Morris makes a good point about students not having to pay council tax on accommodation which non-students of the same age group would have to pay.

The division isn't created by UKIP, it exists and is an inequality between two groups which is clearly unfair.
Judith Morris makes a good point about students not having to pay council tax on accommodation which non-students of the same age group would have to pay. The division isn't created by UKIP, it exists and is an inequality between two groups which is clearly unfair. Badgers Drift
  • Score: 4

3:00pm Mon 24 Feb 14

The Great Buda says...

UKIP - Saying nothing in as many words as possible.

Zetkin has it bang on IMO.
UKIP - Saying nothing in as many words as possible. Zetkin has it bang on IMO. The Great Buda
  • Score: 19

3:48pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Dr Robert says...

Judith Morris has made a good point that I am sure a lot of taxpayers would like the answer to, it should be the owner of the properties paying the Council Tax just like everyone else on every property they own, whether or not it is leaded out to students. With the number of houses given over to students around York the loss of revenue to York will be substantial. Is this a National Policy ? , so owning a half dozen terrace houses and letting them off to students or I presume anybody is a potential goldmine.
Judith Morris has made a good point that I am sure a lot of taxpayers would like the answer to, it should be the owner of the properties paying the Council Tax just like everyone else on every property they own, whether or not it is leaded out to students. With the number of houses given over to students around York the loss of revenue to York will be substantial. Is this a National Policy ? , so owning a half dozen terrace houses and letting them off to students or I presume anybody is a potential goldmine. Dr Robert
  • Score: -13

5:19pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Mulgrave says...

It is not possible to apply Council Tax to student housing without it feeding through to the students, the council receives grant income to offset the exemptions. If landlords are coining so much money in from students then so is the treasury in income tax receipts. The question is therefore whether students should pay more into society than the £9000 per year tuition fees, their rent and living costs and three to seven years of their lives to better themselves. I was beginning to think UKIP may be gaining some genuine clout, what an odious shower they are at heart. Judith Morris is weak in her understanding of the issue and how it would be acceptable or possible to target students without a similar approach to the landlords of tenants eligible for other classes of Council Tax exemption or relief.
It is not possible to apply Council Tax to student housing without it feeding through to the students, the council receives grant income to offset the exemptions. If landlords are coining so much money in from students then so is the treasury in income tax receipts. The question is therefore whether students should pay more into society than the £9000 per year tuition fees, their rent and living costs and three to seven years of their lives to better themselves. I was beginning to think UKIP may be gaining some genuine clout, what an odious shower they are at heart. Judith Morris is weak in her understanding of the issue and how it would be acceptable or possible to target students without a similar approach to the landlords of tenants eligible for other classes of Council Tax exemption or relief. Mulgrave
  • Score: 5

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