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'Axe the Tax' hits Epsom

October 20, 2003 2:33 PM
Axe the Tax in Epsom High St. 1

Signing the "Axe the Tax" petition in Epsom High Street.

The nation-wide 'Axe the Tax' campaign reached Epsom High Street last Saturday 18th October. People queued up to sign, as the Lib Dem FOCUS team collected hundreds of signatures against the Council Tax from shoppers.

Councillor Colin Taylor, leader of the Lib Dems on Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, said, "This shows the deep resentment felt by so many local residents about this unfair tax. It is a disgrace that pensioners on a low income may have to pay as much as millionaires. The only fair alternative is the Lib Dem proposal - a local income tax collected by the Inland Revenue."

This petition to get rid of Council Tax will be presented to the government by the Liberal Democrats, who are collating names collected throughout the country.

Axe the Tax in Epsom High St. 2

The "Scrap Tuition Fees" petition was also eagerly signed.

Local income tax collected by the Inland Revenue in people's PAYE or self-assessment would be passed direct to local councils. The usual tax free allowances would apply, so people on low incomes would not have to pay. Existing government grants to councils would continue, but each council would be able to charge more or less than the national rate (estimated at around 3%), making councils answer directly to local electors if they spend too much.

As well as eliminating the gross unfairness of Council Tax, local income tax would avoid the need for council tax benefit and would be cheaper to collect.

This campaign was part of Local Democracy Week. The Residents' Association Party who lead Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, again ignored this national event, but the Lib Dems want people to have their say on the plans of politicians.

The Lib Dems also collected hundred of signatures to scrap university tuition fees and bring back student grants. Councillor Jonathan Lees, deputy leader of the Lib Dems on Epsom and Ewell Borough Council said, "We need to avoid young people feeling crushed by debt when they start their first proper job. Tuition fees make a difficult situation even worse."