Council tax/pensions

brian ovens made this Freedom of Information request to Falkirk Council

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Dear Falkirk Council,

I would like to know how much from the council tax bill goes towards paying for pensions for people who work for falkirk council? and how much percentage wise actually goes into the falkirk council fund from council tax? you can tell me how much from each band goes to the council tax if you like.

Also, could you tell me how much goes to the European union from the council tax bill?

Yours faithfully,

B Ovens

Finance Services, Falkirk Council

Finance Services Falkirk Council

7 January 2010

am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
This authority has 20 working days in which to respond and you
should therefore expect a response on or before the 4th of February
2010.

Regards

Finance Services Falkirk Council

Finance Services, Falkirk Council

Dear Mr Ovens

In 2008/09, the last full financial year, the Council made
employer’s contributions of £15.630m to the Falkirk Council Pension
Fund. In that period some 18.7% of council spending was financed by
council tax, the remainder being government grant. If this % is
applied to the total employer’s contribution an amount of £2.922m
results. This is equivalent to around 4.9% of council tax income.

Council tax is to help meet the cost of services delivered in the
Falkirk area and therefore there is no contribution to the European
Union.

Regards Finance Services Falkirk Council

Dear Finance Services,

Thank you for the reply,can i just get a few things tidied up. You said in the year 2008/9, 18.7% of Falkirk Council spending was financed by Council tax, can you tell me where the rest of the coucil tax goes please?

and what is the exact percentage from the council tax that goes towards Falkirk Council pensions?

you also state that council tax pays for services, can you tell me exactly which services?

Yours sincerely,

brian ovens

Finance Services, Falkirk Council

Dear Mr Ovens

I refer to your email of 18 January 2010 and now respond to your
supplementary questions:-

 I’m sorry if my response did not make it clear that the Council
Tax funds 18.7% of the cost of Council services. Government Grant
meets the cost of the other 81.3%

 The percentage of council tax that goes towards pensions is 4.9%
as explained in my earlier response.

 Council tax helps meet the cost of all local authority services
except Council Housing. Education, Social Work, Roads & Transport
and Police are amongst the largest.

Regards Finance Services

Dear Finance Services,
Thanks for the reply, can you now tell me please how much of the council tax goes to pensions for teachers, policemen/women/ Social Workers and Road and Transport?

Yours sincerely,

B ovens

Finance, Falkirk Council

Dear Mr Ovens

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for
information.

This authority has 20 working days in which to respond and you
should therefore expect a response on or before the 4 March 2010.

Regards

Finance Services Falkirk Council

Link to this | Reply to this

McGirr, Alastair, Falkirk Council

Mr Ovens,

I refer to your e-mail of 4^th February, 2010.

The Council makes contributions directly to the Local Government Pension
Scheme and the Scottish Teachers Superannuation Scheme. It also makes
contributions indirectly to the Firefighters Pension Schemes and the
Police Pension Schemes.

Council Tax only accounts for around 18.7% of Council income and thus the
contributions to the four schemes by the Council in the last complete
financial year were as follows:

Local Government Pension Scheme - £15.63m
4.9% of income

Police Pensions Schemes - £
4.24m 1.34%

Fire Pension Schemes - £
1.31m 0.41%

Scottish Teachers Pension Schemes - £ 7.76m
2.46%

The Local Government Pension Scheme covers Council employees who are not
eligible to join the Teachers, Police or Fire Schemes. This includes
Social Workers and Roads staff.

I hope this information is helpful.

A McGirr

Pensions Section

Falkirk Council

Tel 01324-506304

Fax 01324-506334

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Dear McGirr, Alastair,

Thanks for reply,i know that 18.7% comes from the council tax to pay for services, but can you confirm if the rest taken in from council tax goes soley to pensions? I think thats my main question.

Yours sincerely,

b ovens

McGirr, Alastair, Falkirk Council

Mr Ovens,

What I am saying is that in 2008/09, the Council took in around £59 million as Council Tax. It also paid out around £29 million to the 4 pension schemes previously mentioned. The remaining £30 million plus £260 million of Government Grants were used to provide local services (schools, social work, roads, refuse collection, planning, housing, libraries, etc).

When considering the extent to which monies are paid into pension schemes, it is perhaps misleading to focus on Council Tax as if it were the Council's sole source of income. To see the complete picture one needs to take Government Grants into account.

So, looking at this bigger picture, in 2008/09, the Council took in around £316 million of which £29 million went in pension contributions.

Alastair

Alastair McGirr
Pensions Section
Falkirk Council
Tel 01324-506304
Fax 01324-506334

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Dear McGirr, Alastair,

Thanks for the reply, but I never asked for any information regarding the government grant. My last question I thought would have got a simple answer, by going off track talking about the Government grant, I still don't feel I have got my answer. 18% of the council tax goes towards services, I think that fact we have got, but I asked if the rest of the Council Tax taken in went solely towards pensions, I don't feel that has been answered, a simple yes or no would be fine by me.

Yours sincerely,

brian ovens

McGirr, Alastair, Falkirk Council

Mr Ovens,

The total income derived from Council Tax in 2008/09 was around £59 million. The total sum paid into pension schemes in 2008/09 was around £29 million. £29 million is 49.15% of £59 million.

All Council income (i.e. other than the £29 million paid to pension schemes) goes towards the provision of local services.

I hope this answers your query about pensions and the Council tax.

(Can I just correct what you said in your e-mail. You state that "18% of the council tax goes towards services". This is not what we have said at all.

What we did say was that 18.7% of the Council's Income (in 08/09) came from Council Tax).

A McGirr
Pensions Section
Falkirk Council
Tel 01324-506304
Fax 01324-506334

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Dear McGirr, Alastair,

Thanks again, so basically 50% of council tax goes towards pensions, and the rest goes too services?

Yours sincerely,

b ovens

McGirr, Alastair, Falkirk Council

Mr Ovens,

Yes you could say that in 2008/09 an amount equivalent to about 50% of the Council tax in that year went towards pension contributions. All Council income, other than the sums paid to pension schemes, is used to provide local services.

Alastair McGirr
Pensions Section
Falkirk Council
Tel 01324-506304
Fax 01324-506334

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Stev0 left an annotation ()

Thanks Mr B ovens for bringing this to public attention.....next time i go to the council to pay my council tax i'm just goung to pay half then give the lady over the counter the other half.....saves any red tape nonsense...BTW, you missed something...next time you look at your payslip and see your tax contributions just think of those poor public sector workers and try and work harder so you can pay them a decent pension when they retire earlier than the rest of us low earners with no pension and no hope over ever getting one....
Ps, the 50% is only council tax monies payed by the public..... the funding from the government comes from the tax payer as well, take that figure into account next time you do the calculations....less than 20% of the working population work for the public sector....
Your sincerely......
Angry young man,

Humphrey Systems Ltd left an annotation ()

It would be interesting to know what % of all taxation goes on local and national government pensions?

At best, most interviews I've had had private sector employees money schemes get 5% from their employer (and contribute 5% themselves).

It would be interesting to see if flat rate tax schemes require less deadwood doing stupidly complex calculations.

KA Smith left an annotation ()

There is a massive confusion in regards to this whole thread.

Council tax is a small part of the overall money a council receives so in this case it is the equivalent of 10% of the tax we pay that the council receives.

For civil service pensions there is no fund so all payments are paid direct from taxation.

Also worth noting that each council has different contribution rates across the country.

One last point is that there are contributions from the members which can be up to 15%+ of salary for higher earners.