Council Tax - We Don’t Whether We’re Cummings or Going

A recent article of ours about a Papa John’s franchise owner, who had defrauded the tax payer of hundreds of thousands of pounds, understandably attracted a lot of negative reaction and several comments about just how sickening the whole thing was...

…which it definitely was, of course.

One comment which caught our eye though, concerned the idea that perhaps the biggest crooks in all of this, the coronavirus pandemic, are the people setting the rules and then not following those same rules themselves.


We all remember Dominic Cummings and his infamous trip to that castle to ‘test his eyesight’…

…well it seems he and his family are above even more rules, this time concerning planning laws and Council Tax accountability.

When Mr. Cummings decided to take that fateful trip up to Durham, right in the middle of the lockdown that he himself had imposed, he drew unwanted attention to his parent’s property, and in particular to two buildings that Durham Council and the relevant planning authorities had no idea were even there.

The suggestion was that these buildings had been put up without the correct planning permissions, weren’t properly registered, and therefore weren’t subject to the correct level of Council Tax charges.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, this suggestion was bang on the money, and an investigation by Durham County Council back in June, revealed that the property owners owed between £30,000 and £50,000 in unpaid Council Tax.

This is forgetting the breach of the law in erecting the buildings in the first place…

So, what’s the issue? Mr. Cummings is clearly a very wealthy man with friends in very high places.

Surely, he would do the right thing and pay what was owed…

Obviously not, and Durham County Council have instead decided, apparently in accordance with legislation from 1993, that the properties will be taxed from October 4th, 2020, because too much time has passed to consider enforcement.

Yep, no further action.

Is it even worth getting angry over this sort of thing anymore?

Would you be afforded the same discretion over breaking planning laws?

Would you be ‘let off’ paying your Council Tax?

We think that, on reflection, the gentleman who commented on our post about the Papa John’s franchise owner has a very valid point.

One rule for them, another for the rest of us. We’re all in this together. Yeah, right.


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