Shockingly over a quarter of your council tax may be bypassing services altogether and going straight into the gold plated pensions of council employees.
Almost £400 a year from your tax goes towards town hall pensions. So why is this being allowed to happen?
Gold in an era of cutsEvery day there seems to be a new development in the saga of council tax cuts. Every day there is news of more vital services being axed in order to keep spending to tough new limits. It's the price, we are told, of keeping our council tax frozen and helping us make ends meet.
However, at the same time councils aren't showing anything like the same enthusiasm for cuts when it comes to their pensions. In fact, the average cost of a town hall pension has gone up 3% in a year, and nowadays on average 28% of council tax goes into the pensions of government employees. This is roughly four times what it cost us back in 1997 and means that someone with an average council tax bill pays £27.50 a month towards council pensions.
This is adding insult to injury for the many thousands of households who have stopped making pension contributions because money is so tight. Somehow the council thinks it's OK to ask you to pay for their pensions at the expense of your own.
Pensions protestIt makes a mockery of the fact that council staff are threatening to go out on strike at the end of November in order to protest at changes to their pension scheme.
They will be made to pay more of the pension themselves, sharing the load a little more fairly with the taxpayer. Let's be clear it's only a little more fair, and would make up for less than £1 billion of the £6 billion pension costs we are paying. It would mean employees pay under £3 billion for their pensions and we pay £5 billion, but it seems to be a start.
The unions have decide that this is an outrage.
They are right, but for the wrong reasons.
Either we all have incredibly generous pensions funded by the government, and we all pay three times the tax we currently pay, or we all make our own plans for the future and stop subsidising government employees. You can decide for yourself which one is most fair, but surely we cannot continue paying a fortune for council pensions at the same time as we look forward to a retirement on the breadline ourselves.
But what do you think? Let us know in the comments.