Conservative budget plans worse than the hated Poll Tax - Council leader

Coun Tim Swift.
Coun Tim Swift.

The Labour group leader in Calderdale has hit out at the Conservative Group for targeting people on low incomes in their budget proposals, claiming that their proposals include changes that are worse than Mrs Thatcher’s Poll Tax.

The Conservative Group in Calderdale has published its alternative Council budget ahead of the meeting where council leaders from across all political parties will make its final decision onthe borough’s budget.

Councillor Tim Swift said the Conservatives intend to increase the amount that people on the lowest incomes pay towards their council tax bills from just under one fifth (19%) at present to almost a third (30%).

“This means that they would effectively have to pay half as much again from 2018 as they do at present,” said Coun Swift

“Instead of keeping council tax down, they want the worst off in Calderdale to pay half as much again.

“Even under Mrs Thatcher’s poll tax, the Conservatives never dreamed of expecting the worst off in society to be hit so hard. If this change were approved, it would be a real blow to hard working families on low incomes. It will target many of the families who are already being hit by cuts to tax credits, the bedroom tax, and other changes.

“And they have not even had the honesty to spell out their plans – they are trying to hide it away in the small print of a budget that they have published just a few days before they expect the Council to vote on it.”

The Labour-led Council’s Cabinet revealed their budget proposals last month which it says are essential so that it can continue to balance the books.

The Council’s proposals include a 1.95% rise in Council Tax rates in the three years to 2019/20 and using the Social Care Precept to raise Council Tax bills by a further three per cent in both 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The budget Council meeting will take place on February 27 at Halifax Town hall at 6pm