News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Shepway Lib Dems propose another massive tax hike

Figures from the Lib Dems and the Office for National Statistics reveal the level of tax Shepway residents could be forced to pay under Lib Dem proposals for a local income tax. Hard working families would be worst hit, facing a massive 49% increase in tax local tax - that's an increase of almost £600 per year!

Another group who would be particularly hard hit would be the young. Young adults, many of whom have already been hit by the introduction of university fees already face a difficult task in climbing onto the first rung of the over-inflated property market. Many are forced to live in small and often substandard rented flats. I should know, having looked at some with Corissa recently. They currently pay comparatively low council tax, or even no council tax if they are forced to live with parents to make ends meet. Under these Lib Dem proposals, young professionals would be hit yet again, as their small homes would no longer protect them from the high cost of local taxation.

Local Conservative campaigner, Damian Collins said:

“As we await Gordon Brown’s report in town hall finances, there is a lot of speculation about how council tax could change – with the real threat of a new house price tax or higher council tax bands.

“But the Liberal Democrat proposal of allowing councils to levy top-up income taxes on pay packets isn’t the answer. It could add an extra £566 to the tax bill of a working family in Shepway, compared to their current council tax bill.

“Local income tax might sound superficially attractive – until families realise the massive tax hike.

“I want people to be able to keep as much of their hard earned money as possible, which is why we will always work to keep tax bills as low as possible.”

Last time the Lib Dems ran Shepway, between 2003-2004, they tried to raise council tax by 39%. Thankfully, the government intervenedand the Lib Dem administration collapsed. Next time, we might not be so lucky. The government is already suggested it may scrap the cap, leaving the council free to raise taxes on a whim. Town and Parish councils already escape the cap, so a Lib Dem controlled Folkestone Town Council could easily bring about a massive tax hike.