The Student Council Tax Exemption is safe with the Lib Dems

By Harry Matthews

Today an article in the Daily Telegraph has been published announcing the Liberal Democrat party policy that we are now in favour of removing of the Student exemption to council tax. I’ve just checked in the Conference Agenda for this weekend… I can’t see anything there; maybe Robert Winnett could point it out to me?

Nope. This isn’t party policy. And I have quite a strong feeling that it isn’t ever going to be. The case Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson was making to Eric Pickles is something many liberals will agree with: the movement of powers away from Whitehall and towards town halls.
However, Clive Betts (Labour MP for Sheffield South East) suggested an interesting amendment to the Local Government Finance Bill last year calling for students to be liable to council tax.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson has now contacted the NUS to confirm to them he is not in favour of students paying council tax.
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5 thoughts on “The Student Council Tax Exemption is safe with the Lib Dems

  1. Well, the “safe with us” line is a bit hard to sustain given the Tuition Fees debacle. It has never been Party policy to be anything other than against them – but that didn’t stop the coalition trebling them, with a Lib Dem minister announcing it! I speak as a LD member

  2. Luckily heard news that is wasn’t actually true just before questioning of it at campus bar. Every student that read it felt really angered at Lib Dems, not helpful!
    Nice piece.

  3. Put the cat amongst the pigeons.
    Why should resident in an area with a large student population pick up the tab for
    students who use all the services and pay nothing towards them.
    If you talk to those people there will be a far different view

    1. They don’t. At least not directly via a higher council tax. When the central government’s standard spending assessment/rate support grant/whatever it is now called, is calculated, they work out the impact of student exemptions and include pretty much that amount in the central grant.

      Now, that may be worse of course – to the extent that a Council Tax payer living somewhere with no or few student exemptions is actually paying through their general taxation for those places which do have lots of students – but it’s not the case that those living in high student numbers areas “pick up the tab” specifically.

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