Don’t target the poorest

In the Observer it was reported that I stated that it would be fairer to increase the council tax than force the most vulnerable householders to pay a minimum of 20 per cent of that tax.

Rother Council’s position has been imposed by another of the Conservative Government’s relentless cuts to local authorities.

Residents on low incomes used to be able to claim council tax benefit which was then paid by central government.

The Government has cut this funding by 90 per cent.

My challenge to the Rother Conservatives was that last year they argued that no one, including the better off, could afford a 6p a week increase in council tax and they refused this modest increase which would have eased the burden on the council to cut services and jobs.

How can the Conservatives decide only a year later that the poorest in our district should now be charged over 100 times more, i.e. £6.13 extra a week if they live in a Band D property?

This change will affect 3,447 less well off residents in Rother.

All of us would sign up to the principle that everyone should pay towards the services we benefit from, but it is not the mark of a civilised country to increase taxes only on the poorest.

Cllr Sue Prochak

Salehurst ward

Rother District Council

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