Sunday, March 25, 2007

Plaid spin will disappoint pensioners

I noticed with interest an article in the Daily Post on March 24th headed “Plaid’s pledge to pensioners: low council tax” in which it was reported that this new Nationalist policy “would mean that the average pensioner household was between £50 and £100 better off per year”. As ever in the world of political spin, the truth of the matter is somewhat different.

Plaid’s policy actually states that pensioners would see their council tax pegged to inflation with the difference between the annual rise in the tax - 4.3% on average this year - and inflation being paid back by the Assembly Government. Given that the current inflation measure is 2.8%, this would mean a saving of only £15 a year on the average £1,000 council tax bill. This is very different to what Plaid Cymru claimed.

The pensioners of North Wales deserve the truth in this matter. After the smoke and mirrors of this year’s Budget, they will not take kindly to having another political party try and pull the wool over their eyes, especially with something as important as council tax.

In contrast, the Welsh Conservatives made their position absolutely clear earlier this month, with a manifesto pledge to give a council tax rebate of £100 to every pensioner household in Wales.

Rather than devising a complicated formula that delivers very little in real benefit, our pledge will make a real difference to their household budgets and ease the burden of Labour's stealth tax on some of the most vulnerable people in society.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


For further press information, please contact: Christine Melsom on 01428-712680 or E-mail

22 March 2007


[start of press release]


Christine Melsom, founder of the Isitfair Council Tax protest group, issued the following statement following yesterday's publication of the final report of the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government.

"We've waited 3 years for their recommendations and we can find very few crumbs of comfort for supporters of Isitfair. We will continue to campaign for a fairer system of taxation for local services.

The recommendations, if ever implemented, may help some of those who currently struggle to meet their bills but they fail to address the root causes of the growing opposition to Council Tax and are no more than a patching up exercise.

The Lyons Inquiry acknowledges the unfairness of Council Tax but was unwilling to bite the bullet and propose any radical change for the foreseeable future.

Their proposals for additional bands are merely tinkering with the present system. People living in large houses are not necessarily rich and people living in low banded houses are not necessarily poor. The inherent unfairness of the present system cannot be addressed by a few changes to property bands.

We strongly oppose the proposed removal of capping on Council Tax increases as long as the present system remains. This would inevitably be the green light for councils to impose further massive hikes in Council Tax.

We then have the prospect of additional charges for waste collection and also a proposed tourist tax. We believe the cost of collecting and administering such taxes would be disproportionate to the amount of additional tax being raised.

We welcome the proposal to increase the savings limit for Council Tax Benefit eligibility as a short term measure. However if the tax was related to income and/or spending the complete Council Tax Benefits system would be irrelevant as would the need for regular property revaluations.

Isitfair is sometimes wrongly portrayed as a campaign only for pensioners - we do not support an entitlement to a reduction in Council Tax based solely on age. There are many non-pensioners struggling to pay this tax, and there are also some pensioners for whom Council Tax is a trivial expense. Isitfair represents people of all age groups who are being unfairly affected by Council Tax and we want a fairer system for everyone.

We have published our own "Alternative Lyons Report", an independent study conducted for Isitfair, which can be found at "

[end of press release]

For further press information, please contact: Christine Melsom on 01428-712680 or E-mail

Issued by Isitfair Campaign, Headley, Hampshire GU35 8PJ


You can find "The Alternative Lyons Report", an independent study conducted for Isitfair, at

Isitfair is a UK-wide, non party-political campaign for the reform of the existing property-value based system of Council Tax.

Isitfair wants a fairer system of taxation for local services that is related to everyone's ability to pay.

Isitfair represents people of all age groups (not only pensioners) who are unfairly affected by Council Tax.

You can find more information about the Isitfair campaign at

Please sign this petition