Why band D?

The annual rounds of Council Tax increases are underway and the papers do love these ‘Shock horror tax up by X amount headlines’ but I always wondered why they use band D properties as the example of how much extra actual money it’s going to cost?

Wolverhampton recently announced their increases in Council Tax and dutifully there was the Express&Star with a handy helper of this will cost the average band D property household an extra £64.68 a year.

Then I thought well, I’ve got a lot of friends and family in Wolverhampton and none of them live in a band D property, the odd few in band B but mostly in band A so I had a little look over at the ONS for a breakdown.

Of the 104,059 properties in Wolverhampton, only 6,064 are in and D, that’s 5.83%. However, there’s 55,004 band A properties (52.86%) and 21,984 band B properties (21.13%). So even though the overwhelming majority (73.99%) of properties are in band A or B, the media quotes a figure that is only indicative of what will be the actual money increase for people living in 5.83% of households.

I know it’s probably a bit much to ask or expect the local printed press to do a few sums and provide some actual public information so that everyone could see the exact amount of extra money they’ll have to pay in the coming year but what is the point of using band D as a comparison when only a small minority of people actually live in properties of that type.

Surely they should try and inform the vast majority of people what they’re likely to be paying extra which in the case of Wolverhampton would be all those in band A and B.

Just a thought, or are all the band D properties in Tettenhall?

Update: Not really an update as I’m still writing but I had to check. Banged in a postcode for a part of Tettenhall and shock horror, there’s more band D properties there (25.06%) than any other band. I sometimes wonder if they should rename the paper the Tettenhall Star.

4 thoughts on “Why band D?

  1. This is rather unfair. Band D is the datum point for calculating council tax bills, so the charges for properties in the other bands are calculated as a ratio of the Band D charge. All councils quote their Band D rate and this is how rates between councils are compared.

  2. Fair point and I’d agree if we were talking about a national newspaper but one that relates directly to a single city could go that little bit further and actually give figures that relate to the vast majority of residents, isn’t that what local press is supposed to be about? Better still though, an actual table would have been better to inform everyone, it is only a couple of clicks away on the council’s website.

  3. Walsall Council are puffing the band A increase of 6p a week. “he shall have just a penny a day because he can’t push any faster” Now, is that a quote from a nursery rhyme or a testament to Walsall Council

  4. I do wonder why? Not that it’s actually cheaper to live in a Band A property in either Wolverhampton or Sandwell because the Tories with the LibDems a few years ago stuck the council tax up by 20% in one go. I’m sure they think people forget these things.

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