Council chief says tax is unfair

SUFFOLK County Hall chief Bryony Rudkin has today demanded that council tax should be replaced.The county council leader has written to deputy prime minister John Prescott saying council tax is unfair on those with low incomes.

SUFFOLK County Hall chief Bryony Rudkin has today demanded that council tax should be replaced.

The county council leader has written to deputy prime minister John Prescott saying council tax is unfair on those with low incomes.

And she also says the current system is confusing for the public and makes it difficult for councils to calculate the level of service they are able to offer from one year to the next.

"Nobody can be happy with the present local government finance system," she said.

"It is outdated and needs to change to reflect the changing role of local councils.

"Making small changes to the grant formulae is not enough – there is a need to tackle the range of problems including the unfair burden on people with low and fixed incomes," Mrs Rudkin says in the letter.

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The letter has been prompted by the government asking for the views of councils on the current methods of collecting local government finance.

This has become a burning issue across the country this year and has prompted the setting up of local pressure groups such as PACTS (Protest Against Council Tax in Suffolk).

The level of protest from council tax payers in Suffolk, as shown by The Evening Star's Cap the Tax coupons, is believed to have prompted the council response.

So far 300 coupons have been returned to the Star's officers, while PACTS members have persuaded almost 4,000 people to sign their petition against council tax.

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