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Response from my MP ignoring council tax corruption
Unsurprisingly the rule of law is not a priority for our lawmakers
Two weeks ago I wrote to my local Member of Parliament pointing out that Council Tax debt collection appears to be unlawful, with prima facie evidence. This puts the entire financial stability of local government at risk. Given the seriousness of the matter, it deserves contingency planning by central government. The article link is embedded below.
I have now received a response, shared below with my commentary interspersed.
Thank you for contacting me regarding methods used for council tax collection.
This is a serious matter — and I am being addressed by my first name, which strikes me as disrespectful and inappropriate. My letter was about the lawfulness of council tax collection, not its methods per se. It should be addressed to “Mr Geddes”.
I note your concern about the use of council tax liability orders. Local councils are responsible for administering the collection of council tax and any arrears, although the Government has provided best practice guidance which covers the use of council tax liability orders.
Government best practice guidance is not even legislation, let alone law. We are dealing with a complete lack of due process, and prima facie evidence of criminal conduct by councils and their agents. Do we have rule of law, or not?
I understand that individuals served with a liability order have the option to go to the court and give their reasons for not paying if they wish to. The Government recommends that anyone who receives a liability order should seek legal advice, speak to their council or local Citizens Advice bureau about their options.
The issue is not payment; I am not a non-payer. I have simply made payment conditional of lawful due process. That the council cannot even acknowledge the request for due process ought to be a matter that would greatly concern those who make our laws! When other people are winning cases against the agents of councils for lack of due process, we have a problem.
I am unable to comment on how the court case you mention would affect your own case, this would constitute legal advice which MPs are not able to give.
I wasn’t asking for help in my case or for legal advice. I wanted to know if there were contingency plans in place should this particular tax, collected in a unique way, be shown to be unlawful. The refund of all prior council tax enforcement actions would bankrupt all councils. A single class action lawsuit could push it into this situation.
It is important to remember that every penny of council tax that is left unpaid means a higher council tax bill for everyone else or worse local services in a community. Where a person fails to pay council tax, the local authority may apply to the magistrates’ court for a liability order. The magistrates’ court must inquire as to the means of the debtor and confirm that the failure to pay is due to “wilful refusal or culpable neglect” in accordance with the tax legislation.
I find this rather condescending — as if I am being told off for not doing my bit for society by exposing corruption. I believe that it is a civic duty to ensure that essential local services are provided for. Just it cannot be done unlawfully, and especially not with the aid of council breaking the law in alliance with courts acting treasonously. All I have done is ask to see evidence of a valid court order. Neither the Council nor the Court have provided it when asked. That’s not OK, and ignoring it makes my MP morally complicit.
Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
Paul Howell MP
Member of Parliament for Sedgefield
House of Commons
I can only imagine what conversations have taken place to come up with this fob off. My local MP is a member of the Conservative Party. If you cannot preserve the most basic constitutional rights of the public, such as to elementary due process in law, then you are not fit to adopt the mantle of a conservator of anything.
I am unsurprised at this response, since the idea that MPs in general have any interest in our constitution, civil rights, or the rule of law has been proven false by the deadly Covid scam. They are in it far too deep to admit that any part of what they are involved in is wrong. Our lawmakers are collectively committed to sinking with the rest of the established order.
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