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Posted: 1/16/2006 8:04:15 AM EDT
www.theargus.co.uk/the_argus/news/NEWS4.html

Pensioner: I'll go to jail rather than pay council tax

by Jenny Legg


Another pensioner has vowed to go to prison rather than pay her council tax bill.

Erica Loynes, 78, who lives in Heathfield in East Sussex, has joined a growing number of elderly people making a stand against ever-rising council tax bills, preferring to serve time in jail than pay up.

Mrs Loynes has refused to pay the £462 balance of her bill from Wealden District Council and has been summoned to appear in court later this month.

Mrs Loynes, who knits dozens of coats for premature babies in Zambia, said she was inspired to defy the authorities after reading about Sylvia Hardy's stint behind bars in September.

Mrs Hardy, 73, who lives in Exeter, Devon, spent two nights in jail after she refused to pay £53 council tax.

Mrs Loynes said: "If that lady in Devon can do it then so can I.

"My council tax here is just £2 cheaper than my old house in Norfolk which was much, much bigger.

"The expense isn't justified.

"I'm lucky because I get a little extra money in pensions from my two husbands but for people who only get the basic pension and are expected to pay these rates it's ridiculous, they must have nothing left."

Mrs Loynes moved from a two-bedroom detached bungalow with a conservatory and gardens to a tiny cottage in Heathfield in October.

Although she can claim some discount for living alone, her husbands' pensions mean she cannot apply for any more reductions.

Mrs Loynes said she was angry with the way pensioners were treated over council tax payments, particularly when public figures like Mr Prescott got away with owing thousands of pounds for years.

The Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was last week spared punishment for owing £6,000 in council tax on his London home after he agreed to pay it back.

She said: "I don't think they would be hauling us into court like this if we were politicians."

Mrs Loynes, who has never appeared in the dock before, said she was curious about how the court case would go and did not know what to expect from prison life if she was sent there.

She said: "I haven't got a clue what it's like but my mind is made up.

"I am hoping I can take my knitting in.

"I promise I won't hurt anyone with the knitting needles and I think it will keep me out of mischief."

Mrs Loynes, who has two grown up children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, will appear before Eastbourne magistrates on January 25.

Last week, 79-year-old Beth Greenall was handcuffed and marched from her home in Carlisle and hauled into court because she owed £662 in council tax even though she was trying to save the Government money.

Her chronic arthritis means she is entitled to a disability payment and a car but she decided to save the benefits and buy a cheaper second hand car.

The extra money in her bank account meant she was no longer eligible for a council tax reduction.

Retired vicar Alfred Ridley, 71, who lives in Towcester, Northamptonshire, also hit the headlines last year when he was jailed for 28 days for not paying £691 in council tax.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 8:07:19 AM EDT
Sounds like the brits property tax is as fucked up as ours in the states
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 8:10:22 AM EDT
Worse. The government just needs to keep their hands out of our pants.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 8:17:09 AM EDT

That's what happens when you don't plan for your future.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 8:17:33 AM EDT
Read Thoreau. Its been going on for hundreds of years. Unfortunately most people can't take their knitting into jail for a fortnight, thump out a couple hundred booties for the newborn and leave without a murmer. I owe, I owe, its off to work I go! OBTW who does she think pays her pension, gnomes who live under rocks, trolls under a bridge or fairies who inhabit the bee-loud glade?

Link Posted: 1/16/2006 8:20:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Airwolf:
www.theargus.co.uk/the_argus/news/NEWS4.html

Pensioner: I'll go to jail rather than pay council tax

by Jenny Legg


Another pensioner has vowed to go to prison rather than pay her council tax bill.

.....................................................Her chronic arthritis means she is entitled to a disability payment and a car but she decided to save the benefits and buy a cheaper second hand car.

The extra money in her bank account meant she was no longer eligible for a council tax reduction...............................................



So she'll take the disability payment and the car but won't pay the tax. Cheeky. Just take the "extra money" out of her bank account? Book her, Cedric!
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 8:22:38 AM EDT
Perhaps now she wishes her great great great grandfather had *stayed* in the "Colonies".
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 9:08:14 AM EDT
Did you guys read the post? Shes mad because she moved from a nice big house to a small one and is still paying the same taxes. Not to mention some silly politician didn't pay some £6,000 in taxes, then the judge just lets him go. Why does she have to pay and he doesn't?
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