In January Deb Smith from Torfaen Council successfully sorted out my council tax problem when I had received a summons and demand for money for unpaid council tax on a property I couldn’t even enter. That was good, well done Deb.
However, I have just received my bill for the next year April ’08 – April ’09. The bill is for something close to £1,000 as I’ve been charged the full amount, on a house that I’ve barely seen since August.
Now, surely I should able to get some sort of discount as I don’t live there? Well, yes. If there was no furniture at all in the house I could claim a 50% discount for several months, however there is a bed, a dining room table and the odd other piece… meaning I’m not eligible for that discount.
What about single occupancy? Surely I can at least claim that? I’m not living with my ex-wife anymore am I. Well, have a listen to this phone call I just made to someone who was extremely rude, suggesting I look in a dictionary for a definition of ‘living in a house’.
If the house was empty of furniture and no one was living in there I’d get a 50% discount. If I lived in the house on my own I’d get a 25% discount. If the house stands empty but has a table in it, I get charged the full amount… even though I’m not using any of the council’s services. No waste collection, no street lighting, no police force… nothing. The full amount.
I despair at this. I really do. Looks like I may have to move back into my house, using up the resources of Torfaen Council, just to claim a 25% discount on their council tax? How messed up is that?