Young voice joins Cap the Tax crusade

IT'S not just pensioners who are hurting! That's the message today from 22-year-old Natalia Hankins as she struggles to pay her council tax bill.Much of the campaign against rocketing council tax bills has been spearheaded by pensioners – and many of the letters and coupons we have had on the subject have been from this section of the community.

IT'S not just pensioners who are hurting!

That's the message today from 22-year-old Natalia Hankins as she struggles to pay her council tax bill.

Much of the campaign against rocketing council tax bills has been spearheaded by pensioners – and many of the letters and coupons we have had on the subject have been from this section of the community.

Many have urged Suffolk County Council to follow Kent's lead and look for ways of giving a discount to pensioners when council tax bills are considered next year.


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But Miss Hankins, who lives in the Stoke area of Ipswich with her partner Martin Clayton, felt many young couples were also in a tight situation.

"We are renting a house here because we can't afford to buy – and the council tax bill is very steep for us.

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"It is adding to the difficulty we already have with saving up for the deposit on a house of our own – we don't think we'll ever get enough for a mortgage," she said.

Miss Hankins said the increases had encouraged her to contact the pressure group PACTS (Protest Against Council Tax in Suffolk) to help with their efforts.

"We need to make our voice heard," she said.

Suffolk County Council leader Bryony Rudkin was also very sceptical about the idea of capping tax rises for pensioners.

"I know many pensioners do struggle – but so do many younger people. And some with private pensions have very reasonable incomes – and it would be wrong for them to be subsidised by youngsters scraping together enough to get their first foot on the housing ladder," she said.

"We have to be very careful to avoid always making the connection between pensioners and poverty – that isn't always the case."

Mrs Rudkin has written to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister urging the department to completely change the way councils raise money.

She said council tax was unfair and hit those on low incomes very severely.

"We have to look at a better way of collecting the money – a way that's fair for everyone, not just pensioners," she said.

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