Pensioner attracts council tax support
A FELIXSTOWE pensioner has collected hundreds of supporters in his campaign to oppose the huge council tax increase imposed by the county council. Reg Hartles, of Glemsford Close, Felixstowe, is so annoyed by the 18.
A FELIXSTOWE pensioner has collected hundreds of supporters in his campaign to oppose the huge council tax increase imposed by the county council.
Reg Hartles, of Glemsford Close, Felixstowe, is so annoyed by the 18.5% rise that he has decided not to pay the full amount and he will only pay 3% above last year's figure.
However, Mr Hartles, 70, said he would not be prepared to go to prison over the non-payment because that would not be fair on Jane, his wife for 47 years.
Mr Hartles has been collecting signatures in Hamilton Road for a petition and he said: ''It is so unjust that an increase six times the rate of inflation has been imposed. The average worker will get no more than 3% and as a senior citizen the extra £167 I will get this year will be taken away by the £176 increase in the council tax.
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''If we accept this exorbitant demand now without protest we will be fleeced again next year and the year after.
''Senior citizens and low paid workers will continually have their standards of living eroded. The size of the increase is unjust and unfair and a clear message must be sent to the appropriate authorities.''
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David Rowe, Suffolk county council portfolio holder for strategic and financial planning, said: ''Of course we respect people's right to protest and encourage residents to have their say. We have already received a petition from other residents and will be happy to accept this one.
''We know the 18.5% increase in our portion of council tax is high, and acknowledge that it will be difficult for some but spending for older people and improving our services for them is at the heart of the budget we have set.
''For example, £1 million will be provided for home care for an extra 400 older people. We will also be spending £1.1m to enable 3,000 people to have free home care, and 7,000 customers will no longer have to pay for their specialist equipment such as access ramps and handrails being delivered.
''£800,000 is to be spent to help reduce the number of delayed transfers of care of people in hospitals. A further £200,000 will be spent to help increase very sheltered housing, with care available on the premises if needed.''