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Call for a fairer deal for Worcestershire - not new taxes: Harriett Baldwin

9th March 2007

Letting councils tax pay packets isn't the answer to soaring tax bills

Ahead of the Government's publication of its review of town hall finances later this month, Harriett Baldwin, Parliamentary Candidate for West Worcestershire called for a fairer funding deal for Worcestershire and criticised plans to introduce new town hall taxes. Liberal Democrats have called for council tax to be replaced with a local income tax, but Harriett Baldwin has warned that this would do nothing to tackle the problems of local tax bills rising year-on-year above inflation.

New analysis has revealed the fact that a working family in Worcestershire could end up paying £1,542 in local income tax in Malvern Hills District or £1,795 in Wychavon, compared to the current average council tax of £1,202 in Malvern Hills and £1,184 in Wychavon. A local income tax is being considered by the Government in its review of local government funding.

Harriett Baldwin 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 £340 to the tax bill of a working family in Malvern Hills District Council or a dramatic £610 in Wychavon, compared to their current council tax bill.

"Local income tax might sound superficially attractive - until families realise the massive tax hike. It would do nothing to address the underlying problem of fiddled Whitehall funding and unfunded burdens from central government. Instead of just replacing one soaring tax with another and robbing Peter to pay Paul, we need a fairer deal for Worcestershire."

Harriett says...

Harriett Baldwin
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