Hackney is a borough of London not exactly renowned for the prosperity of its residents. Yet anyone living in a modest family home in this deprived part of the capital pays more in council tax than the Prime Minister, who lives in a luxurious flat in prosperous Westminster.
In fact, a pensioner living in a Band E property in Hackney on a pension of only £13,000 a year paid £255 more in council tax last year than the Prime Minster, who earns more than £180,000. No wonder reform of this iniquitous tax is low on Gordon Brown’s agenda. But the pressure for change will grow with the news this week that council tax is to rise by an inflation-busting 5 per cent for most people in April.