Ruffley Warns that Lib Dems' New Local Income Tax Could Cost You at Least £500 More

Tuesday, 20 January, 2004

David Ruffley MP warned that Liberal Democrats' proposals for a new local income tax, published last week, would mean an average household in Mid Suffolk District Council paying £618 a year more in tax and an average household in St Edmundsbury Borough Council paying £593 a year more in tax. A local income tax has also been suggested by the Labour leader of the Local Government Association, in its response to the Government's review of local government funding.

The plans for a new local income tax to replace council tax were announced by Liberal Democrats on 12 January, yet analysis by Conservatives has exposed the fact that the average household would pay more under the system.

Currently, households in Mid Suffolk District Council pay an average council tax bill of £1,026 a year and in St Edmundsbury Borough Council this figure is £984. To raise the same amount of money, this would require a local income tax. Yet a household with one person on average male earnings and one on average female earnings could end up paying a yearly local income tax bill of £1,644 in mid Suffolk and £1,577 in St Edmundsbury.

David Ruffley explained,

'We already know that taxes on income have been hiked up by Labour through higher National Insurance, supported by the Liberal Democrats. Now, LibDems want to increase tax bills even more- first by introducing a national top rate of income tax of 50 per cent and also a local income tax.

'Local income tax has the disadvantages of the old poll tax- families and shared houses with more than one earner would see their tax bills soar. Pensioners would not escape either- their savings income would be taxed to the hilt by Inland Revenue too.

'Rather than robbing Peter to pay Paul, the Government needs to end the fiddled system of local funding imposed by Whitehall, and give back the money it has snatched from Mid Suffolk and St Edmundsbury. We need a fairer deal not ever higher taxes.'