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Friday, March 02, 2007

A bribe or a quick fix?

I am sure that those who receive the Welsh Conservatives £100 discount on their Council Tax will be very grateful for the assistance. However, this latest announcement is very much a quick and dirty fix from a party, which introduced the tax in the first place and do not want to admit that they were wrong.

The total cost of this policy is about £31 million a year, which is a significant public subsidy that might be better invested in schools or hospitals. The problem is that this discount will not change the unfair nature of the tax, nor will it be able to prevent the problem of unaffordable tax levels impacting on people with fixed incomes arising again in a few years time, as inflation and tough public spending settlements take their toll on the amount Councils levy on their citizens.

There is a case for some public subsidy to ease the transition to a fairer and more redistributive local tax that will assist those with fixed incomes and ensure that people who earn more pay more. That is the only realistic and long term solution to the problem. Anything else is just a cynical bribe to hide the Tories' own culpability in the creation of this mess.
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