BREAKING NEWS: From today's Chronicle & Echo website
Northamptonshire County Council rubber stamps £58 million budget cuts that will see 130 jobs go
Time to scrap council tax ?
A 5% Council Tax Rise and £58 million cuts to services was agreed today by Conservative run Northamptonshire County Council.
The Tories have mismanaged the council for the last 12 years and now pressures have reached breaking point but council tax is no way to fund local services. It is not based on ability to pay and of course many don't pay anything at all.
For example a man in his thirties working full time but still living at home with mum and dad pays nothing whilst a widower, in Northampton, with a small occupational pension on top of his state pension could be paying as much as £15 a week.
The Liberal Democrats under Charles Kennedy campaigned to scrap council tax and bring in local income tax.
The present system is unfair because it is unrelated to ability to pay and people on low incomes can pay more than top earners.
Replacing it with local income tax would be fairer, cheaper to administer and has been proved to work in other countries such as the USA, Japan and Sweden.
70% of households would either be better off or unaffected.
In order to raise the same amount as the council tax, a local income tax would have to be levied at an average of 3.75p.
It would be levied on everyone who earns above the current tax threshold but as more people would pay then existing payers would be better off.
Councils would set their own rates for local income tax and it would not be capped by the Government.
It would be added to the national rates of income tax and collected by the Inland Revenue through the PAYE system. The Inland Revenue would then pass the money on to councils.
The average single earner household would be £356 better off under the Lib Dem plans.