A tax-funded prize pot of £25,000 to entice Londoners to pay their council tax by direct debit has been slammed by campaigners.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council advertised that it is the only local authority in London cutting council tax this year and that one billpayer could scoop £25,000 if they opt to use this payment method.
The prize money comes from each of the 16 participating councils meaning that each local authority contributes approximately £1562.50 to the fund.
Chief Executive of TaxPayers’ Alliance, Jonathan Isaby, questioned whether it was a good use of public money.
He said: “Incentives are better than harsh punishments and penalties but it’s madness to make this prize quite so large.
“When we’re trying to find necessary savings right across local government, dishing out £25,000 that could be spent on other things is ludicrous.
“Taxpayers will be furious and the councils involved have to seriously reconsider their involvement.”
A Hammersmith & Fulham Council spokesman told SW Londoner that the council had made a saving of at least £5000 per year by encouraging people to switch to direct debit.
Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Max Schmid, said: “Paying your council tax by direct debit not only makes the process easier it helps the council’s money go further to pay for vital services and reduce fees and charges.
“We hope the chance to win £25,000 will encourage even more residents to pay this way.”
Picture courtesy of Images_of_Money, with thanks