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Is it fair?                           Archive

 

 

Council Tax still too high, say ROYAL BRITISH Legion and Help the Aged

The Is It Fair campaign is nationwide, non-party political and for everyone (not only pensioners) who wants the existing system of Council Tax abolished. The Royal British Legion and Help the Aged are putting their support into the campaign group Is it Fair and speaking out on the effects of council tax on elderly and pensioner groups. 

They say that the national average for council tax increase this year, 6 per cent, is still too high for those on fixed incomes – a problem not solved by the proposed 100 bonus announced in the recent budget.

 

 

“While we should all take pride in the success of the campaign resulting in less than double-figure rises for 2004, it is important to note that a 6 per cent average increase is still more than three times the rate of inflation,” says Terry English, Director of Welfare at The Royal British Legion.   

“Our members are men and women who have served their country and worked hard.  They now say that they can’t afford ‘luxuries’ like meeting friends for lunch or even buying the daily paper.  For many, rises in council tax that aren’t matched by pensions increases mean a life of deprivation and ‘cutting back’.  This isn’t fair, so the Legion will continue to support the aims of the Is it Fair campaign,” he says. 

Mervyn Kohler, Head of Public Affairs for Help the Aged says: “The current system of council tax penalises older people living on a fixed income; it is structurally flawed and in urgent need of reform.  Around 17 per cent of pensioners remain in persistent poverty, with single council tax payers over 75 spending 6 per cent of their income on the tax. 

“It appears that the 100 subsidy, nominally meant to help people over 70 with council tax bills will take some time before it reaches the pockets of those that need it most.  For many older people, this means months of going without in order to pay this year’s bill,” he says.  

Christine Melsom, Head of Is it Fair says that the system is fundamentally flawed and in need of replacement.   

For further information:

www.britishlegion.org.uk

www.helptheaged.org.uk 

The Royal British Legion is Britain’s leading ex-Service organisation working for the welfare of Serving and ex-Serving men and women and their dependants.  It provides financial assistance, residential and short welfare break homes, employment for the disabled, small business advice and loans, resettlement training, free pensions advice and much more, all financed from public donations.  It has a membership of 550,000 and answers some 300,000 calls for assistance from the ex-Service community each year. 

The vision of Help the Aged is of a future where older people are highly valued, have lives that are richer and voices that are heard. Through research, campaigning and fundraising they develop solutions, drive activities and inspire others to do the same. 

The Is It Fair campaign is nationwide, non-party political and for everyone (not only pensioners) who wants the existing system of Council Tax abolished.  Its aim is to make people aware of the need for action and to have the existing property-value-based council tax replaced by a system that takes account of the ability to pay.

 


 

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