Acting on an initiative by Liberal Democrat councillors Luton Council is to look at ways to reduce the Council Tax burden for older Luton residents.
“We have always recognised the effect of rising tax on those on fixed incomes, which is why we kept our Council Tax rises at half the rate of Labour’s.” says Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr David Franks, who is behind the initiative.
Liberal Democrat councillors suggested at the meeting of the full Council in Luton Town Hall on Tuesday (24th July 2007) that the Council should look at the scheme introduced in Kirklees and other places which gives a Council Tax discount to people on low fixed incomes whose income is just above the qualifying level for benefits.
Liberal Democrat leader David Franks said, “Council Tax is the most unfair tax we have to pay. Most people know of someone on a low fixed income living on their own next door to a family of four or five adults all earning reasonable salaries. If their houses are the same they pay the same Council Tax. How can that be fair?”
“Council Tax should be scrapped altogether and replaced by a local income tax based on every individual’s income. Meanwhile, it is within the powers of this Council to bring at least a little relief to some those who find it hardest to pay their Council Tax.”
“Usually the hardest hit by the taxation system are those at the margins – just enough income to be ineligible for benefits but not well enough off to comfortably pay their way and sustain a reasonable quality of life.”
“Many of these are older people living on fixed pensions. Some suffer reduced income as a result of Gordon Brown’s £50bn a year plundering of pension funds through his fiddling of the tax relief previously enjoyed by pension funds.”
“I am really pleased the Council has agreed to take the opportunity to have a look at possible ways to help relieve the burden on a significant number of Luton residents.”