Saturday, 28 January 2012

The arrival of the Catholic Tax?

Every now and then I mention my children on this blog, mostly when they have infuriated me.

The truth is they don't infuriate me too often and as a result I don't mention them more often. The reason for that is I love them and I (and of course with my wife) want to make the best possible choices for them as they grow up.

One of the decisions we made several years ago was to send our children to Roman Catholic schools. Clare and I had benefitted from a faith-based education (with differing degrees of success) and for all the drawbacks we decided that this was something we wanted for our offspring.

A few years ago now some cried out that Leicestershire County Council were imposing a 'Catholic' Tax when they decided that effectively travel for children at faith schools was costing significantly more than for those with children at catchment area schools.

As a result the County Council said that travel to and from faith schools would no longer be 'subsidised' and parents with children at such schools (overwhelmingly Catholic) would have to pay £240 per year to make up the subsidy.

Funnily enough I didn't have a problem with this. You see we chose to send our children to a faith school. I understand that distances travelled are further than for the vast majority of other children and this must cost more and I don't expect other parents and taxpayers to pay disproportionately because of what are essentially are our religious choices.

But I do have a problem now.

You see as cuts begin to bite Leicestershire County Council have announced that as they have no legal obligation to provide transport to faith schools and as such they will soon be charging parents of pupils at these schools £490 a year to cover the FULL cost of transport.

Now, whilst I do not mind paying a fee so our children are not subsidised I do very much mind when our chidren do not receive the same basic service that children in catchment area schools receive.

When the first decision was made I pointedly steered away from the term 'Catholic' tax but be under no misapprehension this decision is nothing more than one.

The proposals are currently under 'consultation'. I fully appreciate that the County Hall Tories don't have a good record of listening in such exercises but if you do want to make a submission you can reach the LCC website by clicking here.


  1. In five years time i will have 3 kids in De Lise do i then have to pay the same price for all 3? Its a tough call i want a good education for my kids and if i have to pay a little more than so be it as its my choice but if others are getting some travel paid for then i have to agree its a catholic tax and that is not on

  2. You choose to have kids and You choose to send them to religious schools. You pay.