In early 2020, and well before the world went into lockdown, the Fairer Share team decided we need a fun, punchy campaign video to kick start our journey to create change. We brainstormed some ideas, brushed off our cameras and spent a week travelling up and down the country to see if people knew how unfair Council Tax really is. Spoiler alert – they didn’t know how unfair Council Tax really is and they’re not happy…

The Road Trip

The only ingredient that was missing, was a great host and presenter to give our video the punch it needed. We had a think, and decided to work with the wonderful Judie McCourt (who tends to grace our screens on behalf of the Postcode Lottery!) who is no stranger to the communities we were filming within. We had a sit down over a coffee, decided what we wanted to ask people together, and had a few practice runs. Admittedly, we did look rather silly wearing the inflatable crown and waving gigantic cards around in an independent coffee shop, but the practice paid off in the end!

So, with cameras packed, crew accounted for and Judie on driving duty – we undertook our journey to create the video – spending most of our time filming in Middlesbrough and Sheffield. Both towns are some of the most disproportionately affected from the current Council Tax system and believe it or not, a £150,000 property in Middlesbrough pays MORE Council Tax than an apartment in the City of London (with a private swimming pool) that costs £5,750,000. Sound unfair? That’s because it is.

The People

With all that said, we thought communities across the country deserved to know just how unfair the current state of affairs really is. We made it our mission to work with members of the public to highlight the stark inequality of Council Tax whilst letting them know that we’re embarking on a campaign to instigate real change that will make a real difference. Luckily, our interviewees were big fans of the campaign so we even gained a few supporters along the way (and we’d love for you to join us too).

What immediately became clear from our time chatting to members of the public is that the VAST majority of people we spoke to had no idea just how tough Council Tax is for households across the country. As the famous line goes in our video, “we’re gettin’ screwed!”. Council Tax in the north ends up costing hard working people far more than those within London, and that’s just not fair, is it? You wouldn’t charge more VAT for a Nissan than on a Ferrari, so why are mansions in London paying less council tax than family homes in other parts of the country? 

Once we said our goodbyes and came home to edit the video, we found that our biggest challenge on this campaign was yet to come… We interviewed dozens of people, from all walks of life, and the common thread that tied them together was a frustration at just how unfair the system currently is. Speaking of unfairness, we then had the challenge to boil down dozens of equally powerful reactions into a 2 minute video, which ironically, didn’t seem very fair! We might have to steadily release snippets from our “extended cut” to give the people the stage they deserve, and to allow their voices to be heard!

We can only create change together

We didn’t pay anybody to take part in our video, nothing was scripted, and the reactions were 100% real. Our video, much like our entire campaign, is led by the people and is made special by the general public. We will make your voice heard, but we need you to help. We’re taking on an entire system here where the most well off will be forced to start paying their fairer share – and they won’t be happy with us one bit! Together, by signing a petition, speaking in the thousands, and by joining forces to demand change – we can really make a difference here.

Please, sign the petition here and help us ensure everybody pays a fairer share.

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