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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington


Brake & Citizen Call Out Council Tax

March 27, 2007 4:08 PM

On the 6th March 2007, Tom Brake MP for Carshalton and Wallington and Lib Dem Local Government Spokesman hosted a lunch in the Adjournment restaurant in Westminster for the unlucky winner of the Lib Dem Council Tax competition.

The contest, advertised on the 2nd of August of last year was designed to find the person who had paid the highest percentage of her/his income towards her/his council tax.

The winner of the competition is a man who is currently unemployed although he currently holds a MSc in Advanced Computing from Bristol University. As a mild-haemophiliac, the winner has struggled in his quest for a job. His condition does not affect his ability to work yet he has only been able to secure employment when he has not disclosed his condition.

Despite his being unemployed, the council require him to pay the tax since his savings exceeded £16,000. The Council Tax in his area is £1139.73 for a Band C property.

The winner became concerned when he realised that at the present rate, he would soon run out of money.

He said, "I think the Liberal Democrats want to get across the unfairness of this tax and my case highlights the general argument."

After their meeting, Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson, Tom Brake MP commented, "No case could illustrate better than this one the intrinsic unfairness of a tax which is totally unconnected to people's ability to pay."

Since this lunch, the Lyons Inquiry which looked at the funding and structure of local government, has reported. Lyons has confirmed that "A local income tax could be feasible in England and could viably replace all or part of council tax, or operate alongside it."